Angola’s National Asset Recovery Service has seized a 25% holding in mobile provider Unitel from Geni, a private firm controlled by Leopoldino do Nascimento.
Known as General Dino, do Nascimento is a close associate of Angola’s former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos. Following the fall of Angola’s former government, CommsUpdate reports that the state is now investigating alleged corruption by key members of the regime, with General Dino’s stake targeted as part of this.
In December 2021, General Dino relinquished his position as vice-president of Unitel’s board so that the operator could avoid incurring sanctions after US authorities brought embezzlement charges against him.
Local news outlet Lusa reported that the seizure was carried out as part of a patrimonial and financial investigation conducted by the National Directorate of Investigation and Criminal Action (DNIAP) and under the authority of the Attorney General’s Office (PGR). The stake has been entrusted to the State Assets & Participations Management Institute (Instituto de Gestao de Activos e Participacoes do Estado, IGAPE) meaning that 100% of Unitel’s share capital is now controlled by the Angolan government.
In December 2020, a 25% stake in Unitel was seized from Isabel dos Santos, local billionaire and daughter of the former president, as part of the same anti-corruption investigation. The remaining 50% of share capital is held by the state oil firm Sonangol – which, along with Unitel itself, is expected to be privatised in the coming years as part of a broader government initiative.