Petition Closed


The Angolan Investment Bank (Banco Angolano de Investimentos, BAI) is a private Angolan bank that functions as a money-laundering scheme for the regime’s elite.

The European Bank of Investments, the Norwegian Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund) and the Danish Fund for International Investment (IFU) are partners of BAI, lending their international credibility to an institution that serves mainly to launder money resulting from the plunder of Angolan’s resources and to illicitly enrich the ruling elite.

Altogether, public officials and their associates hold a total of 47.75 percent of BAI’s shares. Meanwhile, 42.25 percent is distributed among private Angolan companies associated with public officials, foreign and national managers of the bank, as well as foreign companies. The remaining 10 percent are held by the Angolan National Oil Company Sonangol (8.5%) and the National Diamond Company Endiama (1.5%).

Nevertheless, BAI has so far enjoyed the complicity of the European Union and Nordic countries, which have until now refrained from addressing publicly the situation of generalized corruption, democratic deficit and human rights abuses in Angola.

Tell the European Bank of Investments, the Norwegian Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund) and the Danish Fund for International Investment (IFU) to stop partnering with BAI.

 

Letter to
European Bank of Investments Secretary General and General Counsel Alfonso Querejeta
European Bank of Investments Board of Governors Chairman György Matolcsy
Norwegian Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund) Chair of the Board Kristin Clemet
and 1 other
Danish Fund for International Investment (IFU) Executive Board Managing Director Finn Jønck
Dear Sir/Madam,

I write to urge your financial institution to cease its dealings with Banco Angolano de Investimentos (Angolan Investment Bank, BAI), a private Angolan bank that functions as a money-laundering scheme for the regime’s elite.

Since its inception, in 1996, BAI has institutionalized the transfer of public assets to Angolan public officials, for their illicit enrichment.

Altogether, public officials and their associates hold a total of 47.75 percent of BAI’s shares. Meanwhile, 42.25 percent is distributed among private Angolan companies associated with public officials, foreign and national managers of the bank, as well as foreign companies.

The National Oil Company Sonangol, which was BAI’s initial main investor, with 18.5 percent of its shares, over the years quietly transferred 10 percent of its interests in the bank to the private ownership of high-ranking government officials. It now retains 8.50 percent of the bank’s shares, while the state-owned diamond company Endiama keeps 1.50 percent of BAI’s shares.

In 2010, the United States Senate investigated BAI’s operations in that country, on suspicion that the bank was operating as a money-laundering vehicle at the service of senior Angolan officials. The investigation publicly revealed the transfer of BAI’s shares to high-ranking political figures.

BAI introduces into the national and international banking systems assets diverted from the Angolan public coffers for the private benefit of the leaders of the ruling MPLA party and government officials, who are liable for crimes of corruption because of the plunder of the country’s resources. The Angolan Law against Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing establishes that both the participation and the facilitation of acts of traffic of influence are crimes of money laundering (Art. 51, 1). The law is also specific on the conversion and transfer of ill-gotten gains obtained directly or indirectly (Art. 51, 2), as is the case of share percentages transferred from Sonangol to Angolan officials. Despite the existence of this legislation, the lack of independence in the Angolan judiciary has so far ensured that not one official has been charged.

Nevertheless, BAI has so far enjoyed the complicity of the European Union and Nordic countries, which have until now refrained from addressing publicly the situation of generalized corruption, democratic deficit and human rights’ abuses in Angola.

Therefore, I urge your financial institution to stop partnering with BAI and stop lending your credibility to a bank that serves primarily as a money-laundering mechanism for the illicit enrichment of the corrupt Angolan elite. I trust that you will do everything in your power to uphold the zero-tolerance policy on money laundering of your institution and denounce the partnership with BAI as contrary to the high standards of your institution.

Sincerely,