Angola: Presidential aides barred from leaving country in embezzlement case

Twenty-four military personnel attached to the security detail of Angola’s president, including Major Pedro Lussati, have been prevented from leaving the country by order of the country’s attorney-general, official sources have confirmed to Lusa.

Among the other names on the list that has been sent to all provincial bodies of the Migration and Borders Service (SME) is also that of a lieutenant-general in the Armed Forces, Luís Simão Ernesto – with all defendants in a criminal case known as ‘Operation Crab’.

The attorney-general’s office announced on 24 May that a criminal investigation had been started into armed forces officers attached to the president’s security detail, on suspicion of the crimes of embezzlement, retention of currency, criminal association and others.

In a statement, the office said that large amounts had been seized “in hard cash, kept in boxes and suitcases, in the order of millions, in U.S. dollars, euros and kwanzas, as well as homes and vehicles.”

The chief of finance of the musical band of the presidency, Major Pedro Lussati, was detained in possession of two suitcases containing $10 million dollars and €4 million, supposedly trying to leave the country.  

Following the investigation, the president accepted the resignations of seven officers on his security detail, and dismissed its chief, Pedro Sebastião, who was also a minister of state.