March 19, 2018 / 11:41 AM / 6 months ago

Britain says $500 million from alleged fraud can be returned to Angola

LUANDA (Reuters) - Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said on Monday $500 million frozen in the UK as part of an ongoing investigation into a potential fraud against Angola’s central bank can be returned to the southern African country.

Locals walk along the central bank building in the capital Luanda, Angola. June 7,2016. REUTERS/Ed Cropley

The move comes four days after Reuters reported that Angolan prosecutors had charged the former head of the central bank, Valter Filipe da Silva, in relation to the alleged fraud.

Da Silva is the most high profile person to be charged and publicly named since President João Lourenço took power last September vowing to combat years of endemic graft.

Angolan state media has since reported that da Silva has been questioned by prosecutors and is banned from leaving the country.

The NCA said it welcomed the cooperation with Angolan authorities.

“The necessary authority has now been provided for the monies to be returned to the Angolan Authorities,” an emailed response to questions said.

The NCA added that it had prevented the money from being transferred in December and January using new provisions within the Criminal Finances Act 2017.

Editing by James Macharia

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