Sunday , June 13 2021

Ana Gomes says "do not get lost" because Ricardo Salgado has not been arrested yet

Socialist MEP, Ana Gomes, said today that "the Portuguese justice system has not yet arrested" the former Board of Directors of former Banco Espírito Santo (BES), Ricardo Salgado and "his followers."

"We can not wait, there by calendas, justice [portuguesa] Acting In many things it does not realize that it is the work of justice. In fact, it is not clear why the Portuguese judicial system has not arrested Ricardo Salgado and his followers so far, leaving the feeling of impunity to resolve, "he said.

Ana Gomes spoke to the Lusa agency in Luanda after the 3rd Conference on Transparency, Corruption, Good Governance and Citizenship in Angola organized by the Association of Justice, Peace and Democracy (AJPD), where he was rapporteur in the panel "The Fight against Money Laundering" in Angola by the European Union and Portugal – The role of the European Union and Portugal: actions and omissions. "

For the Portuguese MEP, "it is not clear either" that the Portuguese justice system is working with BES, and in particular in the case BES / BESA (Banco Espírito Santo Angola), who has acted in the cases "Montebranco" and "Furacão" to sign agreements to recover part of the property, "saving criminals who entered into such agreements."

"The BES / BESA case is too serious for Portugal and Angola, for taxpayers in both countries, to be treated in the same way. Take a serious investigation. BESA was presented as a case of failure, bank insolvency due to bad credit, But in the end it did not have such a bad credit, because a good part of the assets went to a new ownership in the Economic Bank. BESA is now the Economic Bank, "he said.

Ana Gomes said that she heard from Luanda that people are investigating the case "an extraordinary thing."

"The current New Bank, the successor of the former BES in Portugal, still has about 9% of the capital of BE, now BESA's successor. BESA did not go bankrupt, went to another holding and is still under the name of" BESA ". Economic Bank. This is not acceptable, "he said, without, however, moving forward.

"The hole caused by BESA is one of the main holes that explains the collapse of BES, for which we, the Portuguese, are still paying and continue to pay. This year, an additional 418 million [de euros] to the Lone Star Vulture company that bought the New Bank, "he added.

In that sense, Ana Gomes demands to know the terms of the agreement between the New Bank and Lone Star and also who is behind the US fund that acquired 75% of the assets of the former BES, as the New Bank, to October 18, 2017.

"This is important for Portugal, for the improvement of public and economic life in Portugal and it is also important for Angola. We must all contribute to making justice work and do not expect justice only, in its slow hours, to reveal this tremendous maneuver that dearly costs the Portuguese and the Angolans, "he stressed.

The words of Ana Gomes coincide with those pronounced on September 12 by the former president of the executive committee of BESA, Álvaro Sobrinho, who said in an interview with the Angolan Public Television (TPA) that the institution failed by political decision, the people involved, not insolvency (on October 14, 2014, at the moment with 34 agencies).

Álvaro Sobrinho questioned whether BESA had failed because, in his opinion, from a formal point of view, the bank had another denomination (Economic Bank) and, from a practical point of view, there was no international, independent, state or auditor to declare bankruptcy of the institution.

"BESA has been the target of an audit in 2011 that has not seen bankruptcy," said the entrepreneur, noting that bankruptcy was born of the shareholders and that the bankruptcy situation was not declared by the National Bank of Angola (BNA), auditors of the KPMG, the fiscal council or other international regulators.

On the following day, the shareholders of the missing BESA rejected the accusations of Alvaro Sobrinho, considering them "false and slanderous" and accused him, in turn, of "lying" by "not presenting the facts as they happened."

In the document, which cites two statements, one of the BNA and another from the Bank of Portugal (BdP), the shareholders report that "there was no political decision to decree the bankruptcy of BESA", as stated by Alvaro Sobrinho.

"[A falência do BESA decorreu, sim, dos erros da sua [de Álvaro Sobrinho] management and their funds that they have withdrawn, and this is a matter of their sole responsibility, "reads the statement.

BESA bankruptcy was officially declared on October 14, 2014. At the time, it had 34 branches.

On the same day, the National Bank of Angola (BNA) said that the process that led to BESA bankruptcy was "absolutely transparent" and "aimed at safeguarding" the Angolan financial system.

"It was an absolutely transparent process, within the margins in which the legislation itself allows the BNA to protect and protect our financial system," said the governor of the Central Bank of Angola, José de Lima Massano, who repeats what was revealed 2014 by the BNA .

"What was said at that time prevails valid and, in essence, such information remains valid," he said.

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