Portugal “should be worried” about huge sums of money coming in “from Angola’s ruling class”

A US State department report has honed in on the wealth of “large scale investments” in real estate and other sectors of Portugal’s economy from Angola’s ruling class, saying there are “suspicions” that Portugal is functioning as a revolving door for “the laundering of illicit money”.

Portugal “should continue to be concerned about many suspicious and large scale Angolan investment in Portuguese luxury real estate, businesses and financial institutions”, says the 2017 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report.

To give national media outlets their due, some have mentioned it – but as algarvedailynews comments with its characteristic wit: the report “will be studiously ignored by the government and the country’s banks”.

The truth is that this ‘news’ centres on money that has been vastly welcomed in Portugal, and without it our financial recovery would have been even slower.

The report also highlights Portugal as a ‘transit point for narcotics entering Europe’, due to its “long coastline, vast territorial waters and privileged relationships with countries in South America and Lusphone Africa”. In other words, nothing new there either.

The lengthy report comes out annually to describe the efforts of multiple countries to attack “all aspects of the international drug trade” the year before.

Volume 1 covers drug and chemical control activities and Volume II covers money laundering and financial crimes.

Portugal actually fared much better in Volume I – a section that appears to have received almost no mention at all in the media this week.

The report lauds Portugal’s “law enforcement cooperation with the United States and other international partners to combat drug trafficking” as continuing to be “outstanding”.

“The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Portuguese Judicial Police (PJ) conducted multiple, successful coordinated investigations throughout 2016. The Government of Portugal vigorously investigates and prosecutes drug traffickers traversing Portuguese territory. It also continues to enforce and update 2013 legislation criminalizing the possession and sale of certain analogue chemicals used to produce new psychoactive substances, including synthetic cathinones commonly referred to as “bath salts.”

In other words, the US report shows that at least in some aspects of organised crime, Portuguese authorities are very serious about cracking down and catching the culprits.

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