Corruption, Fraudulent Bank Accounts, Middlemen Derail Angola-Russia Debt Deal

Written by Makula Dunbar

From The Guardian

A newly published report on a corrupt deal for the repayment of the Angola debt to Russia in the early 1990s was presented at the European parliament on Tuesday as a vivid example of the plundering that can take place in developing nations with the complicity of European banks and tax havens.

The Portuguese socialist MEP Ana Gomes and the Open Society Foundation hosted the public event at which the report, Deception in high places: the corrupt Angola-Russia debt deal, was presented.

Its author is Andrew Feinstein, a former South African member of parliament and current director of Corruption Watch UK. Gomes praised Feinstein for producing the report despite potential legal challenges, and said his Angolan partners had taken “serious personal risk”.

The report provides a detailed account of the web of financial transactions involving Angola’s $5bn (£3bn) debt to Russia, which evolved into the diversion of hundreds of millions of dollars of public funds to middlemen and senior government officials.

Millions of dollars were transferred through banks based in Switzerland, Luxembourg, Cyprus, the Netherlands, the British Virgin Islands and the Isle of Man to the benefit of powerful Angolan and Russian figures, the report shows.