The European investment Bank has financed projects of companies in which Isabel dos Santos was involved. The billionaire and former Angolan President’s daughter is not only since the “Luanda Leaks” allegations of cronyism exposed.
In the fight against the economic consequences of the Corona pandemic, the European investment Bank (EIB) will in future assume an important role. It puts more into the public consciousness. Yet many citizens are likely to have known hardly anything about the credit institution with a seat in Luxembourg, and financed in Europe and in the world of infrastructure – and climate protection projects.
The EIB has lent in the past, two Portuguese companies money, in which Isabel dos Santos was involved. The Bank confirmed a few weeks ago appropriate information Süddeutsche Zeitung. The Angolan justice had raised in the beginning of the year against the daughter of the former Angolan President, José Eduardo dos Santos, on charges of fraud and money laundering. This had ruled Angola, which is one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in the world, from 1979 to 2017 autocratic.
The EU Bank, is one of the largest development banks in the world, forgave of, 2014, within the framework of various projects loans with a total volume of 2.5 billion euros to the Portuguese commercial Bank BPI and the media company NOS of two companies, Isabel dos Santos was involved in a greater proportion. BPI sufficient funds as a loan to small and medium-sized companies in the southern European country; NOS was able to expand with the loans, the broadband network in Portugal.
The projects were, according to the EIB, yet smoothly, as well as the repayment. However, there was also within the Bank, always a doubt, whether to Finance these projects would have. After all, the US, wrote the magazine Forbes already in 2013, the suspicion, Isabel dos Santos would have benefited on their ascent to billionaire significantly from the position of their father to the state.
The money laundering guidelines for banks provide for a review of such kinship relations. The EIB has a lending looking back on properly. “There is no evidence that Isabel dos Santos has anybody had a direct influence on the leadership of this company,” said the Bank. A spokesman for dos Santos said that she had met in the context of the company’s share purchases “all of the regulatory conditions, including Anti-money laundering controls”.
Too often, ruling elites conveyor can branch off credits and on the secret accounts and transferred to the
The extent of nepotism in Angola, it became clear this year with the release of the “Luanda Leaks”. The Dossier with more than 715 000 E-Mails, contracts, and Memos was leaked to a African whistleblowing platform, and then by an international Investigative network of more than 120 journalists, including the SZ, is evaluated. The information disclose conflicts of interest and nepotism of the former Angolan President’s family and put a strain on, among others, Isabel dos Santos hard.
In principle, the project can bring financing by international development banks such as the EIB, companies and countries economically. However, it is not always possible to control the use of funds. The world Bank in a recent study that an average of 7.5 percent of the money helps to seep away. Much too often, the rule would be poor States, elites usually funding loans branches and on secret accounts in Offshore centres pay.
The EIB had to give in 2015, you’ve assigned a two-digit million loans to businesses in Africa, Arabia and Central Asia, although these companies in tax evasion centres had their headquarters. On the question of whether this is now handled differently, answered the EIB: “Before making a financing decision, will examine the EIB in the framework of a comprehensive Due Diligence of the project and the business partner. She is a strict, to avoid any risks of tax evasion and tax avoidance.” It could, however, be legitimate reasons for a project partner of the EIB, to use Offshore vehicles for clean and compliant to the business objectives.
The EIB, with its 3300 employees, according to information from “the largest multilateral lender and Borrower”. Since its inception in 1958 it has awarded loans of more than a trillion euros. The Institute finances its lending to the financial markets through the issuance of bonds. The Bank is one of the EU member States, whose representatives on the Board of Directors the ultimate control. The EIB operates worldwide, in the year 2014 14 percent of the loans for projects outside the EU, fin.
The non-governmental organization, Counter Balance, however, was in 2019, in a report to the result the EIB was not up to the fight against fraud and corruption. As a result, the “reliability of the European Investments within Europe and beyond is at risk.”
Persons who may be at risk of bribery is high, in particular, must be controlled
A Whistleblower in the Bank wrote in the beginning of June 2019 to make a complaint to the audit Committee of the EIB, in the he the lack of money laundering controls have been omitted. In addition, it stated that a member of the team had been informed by the chief of the Compliance Department, Gerhard Hütz, under pressure, with internal criticism of the defects to hold back. In this period, the EIB internal audit began to examine the problems of gelwäsche control.
The Luxembourg Times recently cited from this report. The EIB had carried out prior to 2019, the controls of the so – called “Politically exposed persons” (PEPs) – these are politicians and their family members, which apply solely on the basis of their position in the country as corruption-prone, very limited. Approximately 8000 of these PEPs are connected with the EIB’s projects, but the Bank would not identify in all cases the beneficial owner. In addition, the EIB loan repayments by third parties have allowed, which would increase the risk of money laundering. In the year 2018, the internal report found that 30 percent of the 53 000 payments to be made nameless, only date, amount, and contract number were noted, the majority of these are routed to the correspondent banks of the Bank.
The EIB explained with a view on the report of the internal audit, you will have fixed by the end of July all the weaknesses in money laundering prevention. “The old projects were re-examined all the documents. We have the issue well in hand, I have no concerns any more,” said EIB President Werner Hoyer of the SZ. The EU money laundering Directive, banks must verify their customers (Know-your-customer process), in order to prevent black money transactions. The EIB does not fall as a supranational financial institution under this rule, it has voluntarily committed itself to comply with the rules.
The longtime head of the Compliance Department of the EIB, Gerhard Hütz, the due to the defects report of the internal audit major omissions are accused of and reported directly to the EIB chief Hoyer, said, in retrospect, on request, that it had given in connection with the report of the internal audit any money-laundering risks in the projects. Hütz had to vacate his Post as Compliance chief last autumn. What followed was the promotion to Board Director at the European Bank for reconstruction and development in London.