No international travel for son of former Angolan president

Monday March 26 2018

Mr José Filomeno dos Santos, son of former President Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola. PHOTO | BBC


Angolan authorities have barred the son of former President Jose Eduardo dos Santos from leaving the country over fraud charges.

Mr José Filomeno dos Santos is at the centre of the suspect transfer of $500 million from the Angolan sovereign fund, which he once headed.

The money was allegedly transferred from the Angolan Reserve Bank to the Credit Suisse Bank in the UK.

The ruling party

Deputy Attorney-General Luís Benza Zanga told journalists at a press conference in Luanda on Monday that the ruling party MPLA was involved in the embezzlement of the state funds.

“The former Reserve Bank Governor, Mr Valter Filipe, is also involved in the case,” Mr Zanga said. 


President João Lourenço in January sacked his predecessor’s son as the head of the strategic $5 billion sovereign fund.

Mr Filomeno dos Santos was replaced by Mr Carlos Alberto Lopes, a former Finance minister.

Mr José Eduardo dos Santos appointed his eldest son as president of the Fundo Soberano de Angola in 2013 soon after its creation in October 2012.

Kin and allies

Since taking power last August, President Lourenço has also sacked Isabel dos Santos, the former president’s eldest daughter, as the chair of the board of the state-owned oil firm Sonangol. He replaced her with Mr Carlos Saturnino, an oil industry veteran.

President Lourenço has also dismissed a number of Mr Eduardo dos Santos kin and allies from key government institutions in a move seen as wrestling control from his predecessor and asserting his authority.

Eduardo dos Santos ruled Angola for 38 years and his family and allies still control huge sectors of Africa’s second-largest oil producer.