LUANDA. – Angolan President Joao Lourenco has fired his country’s army chief and the head of the foreign intelligence agency over corruption allegations.
The move by Lourenco on Monday is the latest against government officials tainted by corruption accusations and those perceived to have close links to former President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.
Last month, General Geraldo Sachipengo Nunda was named by prosecutors as a suspect in an investigation of a scheme to negotiate a fraudulent international credit line of $50bn.
Andre de Oliveira Sango has been the head of the southern African country’s foreign intelligence agency for more than a decade under Dos Santos.
Their sackings were announced in a presidential decree broadcast on the state radio station.
The latest purge comes weeks after the Angolan finance ministry said Jose Filomeno dos Santos, the son of Jose Eduardo dos Santos, planned to siphon off $1.5bn when he ran the oil-rich country’s sovereign wealth fund.
The $1.5bn figure is three times the sum Filomeno dos Santos was initially accused of illegally transferring to a British bank.
The finance ministry said that Filomeno dos Santos disguised the transfer as a project aimed at attracting investment in Angola with the help of a fake guarantee from Credit Suisse.
Luanda said $500m had been transferred to a London bank and that Angola was supposed to make two more such payments.
The first transfer was blocked by UK authorities who suspected foul play.
Filomeno dos Santos was appointed to head the $5bn oil-fuelled sovereign fund by his father in 2013 but was sacked by President Joao Lourenco, who took power in January this year.
Former central bank governor Valter Filipe da Silva, who has been charged alongside Filomeno dos Santos, has promised to “cooperate” with the authorities.
Filomeno’s half-sister, Isabel dos Santos, was also sacked from her job as the head of state-owned oil giant Sonangol. Thought to be Africa’s richest woman, she has denied all allegations against her.
Jose Eduardo dos Santos ruled Angola for 38 years. During his rule, he was accused of running the country’s economy to enrich himself and those around him. – Al Jazeera/News agencies