Group Reiterates Call for Authorities in Mauritius and Angola to Follow English High Court Judgement and to Resolve Outstanding Legal Challenges
ZUG, November 28, 2018 – Quantum Global Group (the “Group”) announced today that the Supreme Court of the Canton of Zug canceled the ‘writ of execution’ of a Worldwide Freezing Order (the “WFO”) obtained by the Fundo Soberano de Angola (“FSDEA”) in the English High Court against the Group and Mr Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, the Group’s Chairman and Founder.
The decision of the Zug Supreme Court follows the earlier judgment by the English High Court in August of this year that criticized the wrongful imposition of the WFO, highlighting multiple areas of unfair and misleading presentation to the court by the FSDEA and its legal advisors. In October, the English High Court ordered an inquiry into the damages’ caused by the wrongful imposition of the WFO and ordered the FSDEA to pay the Group’s legal costs for the English Court proceedings.
Despite the WFO being thrown out of court in the UK and the subsequent ruling in Switzerland, Mauritian authorities have maintained the freezing order of the FSDEA against Quantum Global bank accounts in the country. This freezing order was ordered in June on the back of the wrongfully imposed WFO and on the same basis. Considering the robust rejection of the courts in Europe of the wrongfully imposed WFO, there can be no justifiable basis for maintaining this freezing order in Mauritius.
In addition, in April authorities in Mauritius have also frozen the Group’s bank accounts in Mauritius and suspended the Group’s operating licenses. The Group has appealed for removal of the freezing orders and suspensions; however, such appeals are to date still the subject of long proceedings. Moreover, the authorities still refuse to release the affidavit from the country’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), upon which the orders were based more than seven months ago.
Serious questions have been raised about the conduct of the Mauritian authorities and their independence. Local press reports show that Angolan representatives made numerous visits to Mauritius prior to the orders being granted, and in the months thereafter, raising critical questions about the motivations of the local authorities in the actions taken against the Group.
In Angola, following the UK court judgment, the authorities wrongfully imprisoned Mr Bastos on September 24 without charge. An assessment of evidence made by Mr. Bastos’s legal counsel shows that the detention was wrong, unfounded and deemed unnecessary because Mr. Bastos entered Angola of his own volition and has always cooperated fully with authorities since both of his passports were illegally seized in May 2018, which was in violation of Angolan Law.
To date, two months after the unlawful and unfair detention, still no charges have been filed against Mr. Bastos who continues to be held in a prison for violent offenders that has been criticized by international human rights organizations including Amnesty International. The unlawful detention of Mr Bastos, a Swiss and Angolan dual national, raises serious questions about the conduct of the authorities and the treatment of foreign nationals in Angola. Quantum Global calls on the Angolan Government and the country’s Courts to uphold the rule of law and guarantee a fair hearing and due process.
Quantum Global has repeatedly stated its desire for a negotiated solution with the FSDEA that otherwise will have to be settled through a number of lengthy arbitration proceedings. The Group reiterated its call for the FSDEA to advance to a good faith solution, in accordance with international commercial law, to maintain the value of the portfolio and secure the jobs created in Angolan industries including ports, forestry, agriculture and real estate.
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