quinta-feira, 1 de Julho de 2010

Sonangol na mira telescópica do Tio Sam

Estão já à vista para Angola as primeiras consequências directas da investigação levada a cabo por uma comissão do Senado dos EUA relacionada com a presença no sistema financeiro norte-americano da corrupção externa, tendo como referências os casos da Guiné-Equatorial, do Gabão de Bongo e de Angola. Os resultados desta investigação foram apresentados e debatidos em Fevereiro último, tendo o Senado adoptado um conjunto de recomendações que, no caso de Angola, afectam particularmente a movimentação dos bancos angolanos nos EUA através dos seus correspondentes. O BAI detido maioritariamente pela Sonangol, já é, claramente, nesta altura o banco mais vigiado pelo "Tio Sam", com as atenções dos seus auditores particularmente voltadas para o seu accionista maioritário, que, por não estar cotado em nenhuma bolsa, não responde às exigências de transparência do sistema norte-americano, com a agravante de ser uma empresa pública. A Sonangol pode estar assim diante de um sério e incontornável obstáculo apontado para a sua estratégia de internacionalização, que tem passado pela aquisição de expressivos activos em várias praças internacionais, com destaque para a portuguesa. Na sequência das restrições colocadas pelo omnipresente "Tio Sam", admite-se que outros bancos que se movimentam nos EUA venham a cortar as suas relações com congéneres angolanos e de outras proveniências que, eventualmente, tenham nos seus cofres dinheiro com o carimbo da petrolífera angolana. As restrições poderão afectar igualmente o BNA, que, por via de uma bloqueada transferência milionária (50M) para a conta nos EUA de um cidadão togolês em 2002, também foi alvo da referida investigação, que teve do outro lado a pessoa de Aguinaldo Jaime que era na altura o "boss" do Banco Central.(http://morrodamaianga.blogspot.com/2010/02/tremido-na-fotografia.html) A capacidade das instituições financeiras angolanas (oficiais e privadas) adquirirem dólares no mercado norte-americano pode vir igualmente a ser afectada, o que a confirmar-se criará sérios constrangimentos, que se adivinham fácilmente e que obrigará os "dealers" locais a ter de comprar as "verdinhas" noutras praças. ==================================================================== A seguir e na versão original inglesa, algumas passagens do relatório do Senado norte-americano que está na origem das actuais restrições colocadas as movimentações de dinheiros provenientes de Angola no sistema financeiro dos EUA. (...) [(7) Personal Accounts. Pierre Falcone, a PEP through his close association with the President of Angola and appointment as an Angolan Ambassador, was able to use personal, family, and U.S. shell company accounts at a U.S. bank in Arizona to bring millions of dollars in suspect funds into the United States and move those funds among a worldwide network of Falcone accounts, despite his status as an arms dealer and a long history of involvement in criminal proceedings in France. (8) Government Accounts. Dr. Aguinaldo Jaime, using his authority as head of the Angolan Central Bank, attempted without success, on two occasions in 2002, to transfer $50 million in government funds to a private account in the United States. (9) Correspondent Accounts. Banco Africano de Investimentos, a $7 billion private Angolan bank that caters to PEPs, is not treated as a PEP client subject to enhanced monitoring by its U.S. correspondent bank. (10) Vendor PEP Lists. Some vendors relied on by U.S. financial institutions to screen clients for PEPs used incomplete and unreliable PEP lists. B.Recommendations This Report makes the following recommendations. (1) World Bank PEP Recommendations. Congress should enact a law and the U.S. Treasury Department should promulgate rules implementing the key recommendations of a recent World Bank study to strengthen bank controls related to Politically Exposed Persons ("PEPs"), including by requiring banks to use reliable PEP databases to screen clients, use account beneficial ownership forms that ask for PEP information, obtain financial declaration forms filed by PEP clients with their governments, and conduct annual reviews of PEP account activity to detect and stop suspicious transactions.(2) Real Estate and Escrow Agent Exemptions. Treasury should repeal all of the exemptions it has granted from the Patriot Act requirement for anti-money laundering (AML) programs, including the 2002 exemption given to real estate and escrow agents handling real estate closings, and sellers of vehicles, including escrow agents handling aircraft sales, and use its existing statutory authority to require them to implement AML safeguards and refrain from facilitating transactions involving suspect funds.(3) Attorney-Client and Law Office Accounts. Treasury should issue an AML rule requiring U.S. financial institutions to obtain a certification for each attorney-client and law office account that it will not be used to circumvent AML or PEP controls, accept suspect funds involving PEPs, conceal PEP activity, or provide banking services for PEPs previously excluded from the bank; and requiring enhanced monitoring of such accounts to detect and report suspicious transactions. (4) U.S. Shell Corporations. Congress should enact legislation requiring persons forming U.S. corporations to disclose the names of the beneficial owners of those U.S. corporations.(5) Immigration Restriction. Congress and the Administration should consider making significant acts of foreign corruption a legal basis for designating a PEP and any family member inadmissible to enter, and removable from, the United States.(6) Visa Restriction. The State Department should strengthen its enforcement of the law and Presidential Proclamation 7750 denying U.S. visas to foreign PEPs involved with corruption, and law enforcement agencies should increase the assistance they provide to State Department investigations of PEPs under review.(7) Professional Guidelines. Professional organizations, including the American Bar Association, National Association of Realtors, American League of Lobbyists, and American Council for Education, should issue guidance to their members prohibiting use of any financial account to accept suspect funds involving PEPs, conceal PEP activity, facilitate suspect transactions involving PEPs, or circumvent AML or PEP controls at U.S. financial institutions.(8) FATF Recommendations. The United States should work with the international Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering to amend its existing 40+9 Recommendations to strengthen anti-corruption and PEP controls. In "KEEPING FOREIGN CORRUPTION OUT OF THE UNITED STATES:FOUR CASE HISTORIES. MAJORITY AND MINORITY. STAFF REPORT PERMANENT SUBCOMMITTEE ON INVESTIGATIONS UNITED STATES SENATE- FEV/2002"]