Banks paid Angola backhanders
Three banks were used to pay backhanders to corrupt oil officials in Angola between 2005-2008.
The Portuguese banks were used in pay off schemes by a Dutch company SBM Offshore to pay bribes to management figures at the State-run oil company Sonangol with more than US$6 million paid out to ensure contracts.
In a report in Jornal de Negócios, the company’s CEO was handed a two-year suspended prison sentence in October last year.
At issue were transfers made between 2005 and 2008 to a total of US$ 6.8 million made by SBM Offshore, whose capital is entirely held by SBM Holding with a tax base in Switzerland.
The company’s aim was to get favoured status in contract tenders for oil exploration projects Kizomba C and Greater Plutonio and transfer bribes to accounts in the three Portuguese banks.
The vice-president of Sonangol Shipping Holdings at the time, Baptista Sumbe, who was board president of BCP’s Board of Remunerations and Pensions, was one of the names who received backhanders from SMB. The case began to be investigated after it was reported by a whistleblower in 2016.
In October 2020, the Bellinzona Federal Penal Court condemned Didier Keller, CEO of SMB Holding to a suspended prison sentence of two years after he had pleaded guilty to the crime of actively corrupting foreign public officials.