Finance Minister Vera Dáves de Sousa announced yesterday (Tuesday, March 7) that Luanda plans to create a special fund to manage some $15 billion in assets recovered as part of an anti-corruption campaign. Assets embezzled under José Eduardo dos Santos included real estate, company shares, cars and cash.

The Angolan government is exploring several options to manage recovered assets as part of its anti-corruption campaign. Assets and money were embezzled under the regime of José Eduardo do Santos. The most feasible plan is to create a dedicated investment fund, Finance Minister Vera Dáves de Souza told private radio station Luanda Antena Commercial, whose comments were published by several international press outlets.

The announcement comes just weeks after the administration of the National Asset Recovery Service (note: the anti-corruption body responsible for monitoring embezzled funds under the do Santos regime) announced last January that the state had recovered more than $5 billion. Assets made of public goods that have been misused in corrupt activities and stashed abroad. This amount is in addition to the previous collection of more than $10 billion in February 2022. The collection follows final judgments passed by courts in corruption cases. The government is still waiting for court orders to recover $21 billion in embezzled assets.

Since coming to power in 2017, Angolan President João Lorenzo has launched an anti-corruption campaign to claw back ill-gotten gains under the long presidency (1979-2017) of his predecessor, José Eduardo dos Santos. Meanwhile, authorities have initiated 715 criminal proceedings for corruption, fraud, embezzlement and other financial crimes.

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According to official estimates, members of the dos Santos family, former ministers and former heads of state-owned companies illegally transferred $150 billion abroad between 2001 and 2017.