Quantum Global Denounces Intimidation Tactics of the FSDEA and Angolan Authorities
Group Reiterates Continued Desire For A Negotiated Resolution
LUANDA, Angola, October 1, 2018 – Quantum Global expressed its deep concern today at the unjustified and illegal detention of its Chairman and Founder Mr Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, a national of Switzerland and Angola, by the Angolan authorities.
Quantum Global denounced attempts by the new administration of the Fundo Soberano de Angola (FSDEA) through the Angolan justice system, to resort to intimidation, coercion and abuse of human rights to get out of contracts duly entered into between Quantum Global and FSDEA.
After a change in administration last year, the new leadership of the FSDEA is trying to get out of a series of long-term investment agreements with Quantum Global and has used increasingly offensive tactics against Quantum Global, Mr Bastos and staff in Angola, Mauritius and Switzerland — providing misleading and false information to the authorities and courts — in an attempt to achieve this objective.
After returning to Angola on his own accord in May, Mr Bastos has been closely cooperating with the authorities throughout their investigations. As Mr. Bastos has been banned from leaving the country and obliged to report to the Office of the Attorney General every fortnight since May 18, there were no reasons to justify the preventive detention order issued by the Attorney General’s office on September 24. Moreover, the detention order does not contain any new allegations against Mr Bastos that could justify an aggravation of the original preventive measures, which were also applied outside the law.
Quantum Global believes that the measures to constrain Mr Bastos were designed to force him to give up his rights and to surrender all assets and funds under the management of the Group. These tactics were supported through the promotion of a false narrative publicly broadcast on government-controlled media.
The preventive detention order focuses on local Angolan real estate transactions that did not involve Quantum Global. An assessment made by Mr. Bastos’s legal counsel of the evidence and grounds of the preventive detention order shows that they are wrong and unfounded.
Mr Bastos has taken legal measures to challenge his detention, noting that he was collaborating with the authorities in charge of the investigation, including voluntarily providing documents and did not breach any of the initial preventive measures applied in May. Consequently, the preventive detention order violates the principles of necessity, adequacy, proportionality and subsidiarity, thus rendering it illegal, according to legal advisors.
Moreover, the detention of Mr Bastos in the Viana prison, a place for violent offenders, is in violation of the order of the Attorney General’s Office, which stated that Mr Bastos should be taken to the São Paulo prison hospital. Quantum Global believes that the harsh conditions prevalent in Viana prison constitute a further violation of his human rights, are inconsistent with a state that claims to be democratic and subject to the rule of law, and indicate an intention to put Mr Bastos in a situation of isolation from his relatives and colleagues. Violations of human rights in Viana prison have been the subject of criticism in recent years by many international human rights organizations, including by Amnesty International.
A further demonstration of the arbitrary actions of the Angolan Attorney General was in a press release issued on September 24 claiming that the detention of Mr Bastos was connected to the attempted $500 million fraud case involving the Banco Nacional de Angola (BNA) “already referred to the Supreme Court”. Quantum Global reiterated that neither the Group, in its role as asset manager for the FSDEA, nor Mr Bastos were a party to the fraud case.
The FSDEA’s own legal counsel, in its affidavit submitted to the English High Court on April 26, stated that “notwithstanding Mr Bastos’s previous involvement with the BNA, he has not been accused of any involvement in the BNA fraud”. The same counsel is on record as the lawyer on the fraud case.
Regarding the management of the FSDEA, Quantum Global noted that the English High Court had only in August reached a judgment on the dispute between the two parties, strongly criticizing the FSDEA and its lawyers for seriously misleading the Court and being culpable in their actions.
The English High Court found that the FSDEA misled the Court and that the FSDEA was liable for damages. Moreover, the judge of the English High Court stated in his final judgment that the E&Y report commissioned by the FSDEA concluded that Quantum Global’s fees and offshore structures were in line with industry standards.
Quantum Global has repeatedly stated its availability to discuss a negotiated and immediate solution with the FSDEA that otherwise will have to be settled through a number of lengthy arbitration proceedings.
Quantum Global reiterates its call for the FSDEA to advance to a good faith solution, in accordance with international commercial law, to maintain the value to the portfolio and secure the jobs created in Angolan industries including ports, forestry, agriculture and real estate.
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