Former BES Angola boss investigated from all sides now over “missing” €4.2 billion

Confirmed to be under investigation from all sides now over the “missing” €4.2 billion from bankrupt BES Angola is the bank’s former president Álvaro Sobrinho, who went on to invest many millions in various Portuguese ventures, including Sporting football club’s management company SAD do Sporting.

The news – rapidly repeated throughout Friday – came as a result of a question from PSD MP Duarte Mendes to bank regulator CMVM, the securities market commission.

CMVM confirmed that in collaboration with the Bank of Portugal it has Sobrinho’s multiple investments in Portugal under scrutiny, particularly the millions chanelled into SAD do Sporting.

“No one knows where the four billion euros from BESA (BES Angola) disappeared to while Álvaro Sobrinho was president”, Mendes explained to journalists. “Thus to investigate a listed company like this is a good opportunity to explain the origin of the money”.

Sobrinho bought into SAD do Sporting two years ago through an investment company by the name of Holdimo.

Holdimo is quoted as owning almost 30% of the Sporting company, having invested €20 million.

But national tabloid Correio da Manhã claims bank regulators’ investigations are not stopping here.

Sporting has invested €55 million in a convertible securities programme, dubbed VMOC, which matures in January 2016. The paper claims much of the money invested can be traced back to Holdimo.

As the paper reminds its readers, Sobrinho has always been extremely vague about what happened to BES’ missing billions, but he has had no shortage of money himself.

With accusations of fraud dogging his career for years, he had €18 million “frozen” in various accounts under the eye of investigators in 2011 when he was made an official suspect in a case alleging Angolan State fraud.

He has since been cited in multiple investigations, not least the ongoing Monte Branco case into suspicions of tax evasion and money-laundering that has connected almost as many Portuguese VIPs in politics and business as any self-respecting society magazine.

Angolan website Rede Angola revealed last year that Sobrinho had “around 150 bank accounts, spread over six Portuguese banks: CGD, Millenium bcp, BES, Best, Barclays and Edmond de Rothschild Europe” as well as a clutch of luxury apartments in Cascais/ Estoril.

These have since been impounded by DCIAP investigators as they tick all the boxes explaining how, in the space of less than 20 years, a businessman who began with only a motorcycle registered in his name, could have come into the possession of so many millions in cash, stocks and property.

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