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10.01.17

Battistelli’s Club Med at the EPO – Part V: Portugal’s “Golden Visa” Scheme for Angolan Nationals

Posted in Africa, Europe, Patents at 6:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Money

Summary: Some new revelations about Portugal’s “Golden Visa” scheme — a subject which has been circulating in the news in recent weeks

TODAY we continue the series about the EPO, Portugal, and Angola. In part 1 we highlighted an upcoming EPO deal, in part 2 we explained how that relates to French/Portuguese EPO leadership, and in parts 3 and 4 we wrote about corruption in Angola and possibly its patent office, respectively. We remind readers that the father of the likely next EPO President was born in Angola.

Today, in part 5, we deal with something fresh from the news.


Here are some links to recent articles about Portugal’s “Golden Visa” scheme which a Portuguese MEP has described as “another very dangerous avenue to import additional corruption and criminality into the EU”.

The recent revelations expose the way in which the scheme is being used by allegedly corrupt individuals from countries with close links to Portugal including Brazil and Angola.

This article from 12 days ago says: “Euro MP Ana Gomes has been a vociferous opponent of the scheme – championed by former deputy prime minister Paulo Portas – since its inception.

“She told the BBC back in 2014 that it potentially opened the doors to “all sorts of corrupt even criminal organisations… and it might be another very dangerous avenue to import additional corruption and criminality into the EU”.”

Another article from around the same time is calling it “Portugal’s golden visas” (in the headline). Angola is mentioned as follows: “Others named in the document are relatives of the Angolan vice-president, Manuel Vicente, who until 2012 was the chief executive of the country’s state energy firm, Sonangol. Vicente, once tipped to be the next Angolan president, this year faced allegations that he tried to bribe a Portuguese magistrate in order to suppress an investigation into corruption at Sonangol.”

We wrote a lot about Sonangol in previous parts.

“Leaked list of Golden Visa applicants released” is another detailed article about this. Here are some portions from it:

The documents focus on Latin American and Angolan nationals who have received a Golden Visa after buying a property in Portugal for €500,000 or more in exchange for permanent residency.

[...]

As for Angolan applicants, Portugal long has been used as a convenient laundry for stolen money with Angolan vice-president, Manuel Vicente, and family members receiving Golden Visas.

Vincente, who until 2012 was the chief executive of the country’s oil company, Sonangol, faces jail time after bribing a Portuguese magistrate in order to drop an investigation into his property purchases.

[...]

Other recipients of Golden Visas named in the leaked documents include:

[...]

João Manuel Inglês is an Angolan colonel and aide to Gen Manuel Helder Vieira Dias, better known as Kopelipa, head of the Angolan military and one of the most powerful figures in Angola. Inglês, who was accused in a US class action lawsuit of being a figurehead for Kopelipa and two other Angolan ruling figures, applied for a Portuguese golden visa in 2013. He did not respond to requests for comment.

Pedro Sebastião Teta, the Angolan secretary of state for IT, applied for a golden visa in 2013. The following year he was reported to own 30% of a company called Impulso Angola, which was awarded a contract by the government to map the country’s mineral resources. He did not respond to requests for comment.

Sebastião Gaspar Martins, the executive director of Sonangol’s Brazilian arm, sought a Portuguese golden visa in 2014. He has been cited as a possible successor to Vicente as vice-president. Martins declined to comment on the golden visa.

Some of these names may become more relevant to us in the future.

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