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Quantum global Swiss investment fund founder released from Angolan prison


The Angolan sovereign wealth fund is funded by the country's oil riches.

(Keystone / Bruce Stanley)

Jean-Claude Bastos, the Swiss-Angolan founder of Zug-based investment fund Quantum Global, has been released from detention after reaching a settlement with the Angolan sovereign fund. He was suspected of embezzlement.

The confidential settlement was announced on Friday external linkby the company which stated that the Angolan authorities have not filed criminal charges against Bastos.

“The settlement agreement follows success in the courts over the past months in Switzerland and in the United Kingdom, where the English High Court dismissed the Worldwide Freezing Order against Quantum Global and Mr Bastos and authorized that these parties can pursue damages,” said a company statement on Friday.

Bastos was named in the "Paradise Papers" revelations and until recently managed the Angolan sovereign wealth fund. His boss Jose Filomeno dos Santos, former head of the Angolan sovereign wealth fund and son of the former President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, was also been placed in detention. dos Santos was dismissed from his post last January by Angola's new president, Joao Lourenço.

Embezzlement charge

According to the Angolan Ministry of Finance, dos Santos was suspected of having developed, while running the Angolan sovereign wealth fund (Fondo Soberano de Angola), a massive scam that could have enabled him and his accomplices to embezzle up to $1.5 billion (CHF1.4 billion).

This scam was part of a plan that would allow Angola to benefit from $35 billion in financing, with a false guarantee from the Credit Suisse bank, reports say. The fraud was discovered through a suspicious transfer of $500 million to the London account of Credit Suisse, blocked by the British authorities.

The Swiss Attorney General's Office announced last May that it had opened an investigation concerning "money laundering" linked to assets held by the Angolan National Bank and the Angolan sovereign wealth fund. Several searches were ordered, including Bastos’ offices in Switzerland.

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