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Paradise Papers: Tycoon made $41m from 'people's fund'

November 7, 2017 3:03 pm

An entrepreneur charged with managing the oil wealth of the struggling African state of Angola was paid more than $41m in just 20 months, leaked documents reveal.

The payments were made via a complex web of companies set up in the offshore jurisdiction of Mauritius.

Jean-Claude Bastos also used his position to help set up large investment deals he stands to further profit from, the Paradise Papers show.

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All sides deny any wrongdoing.

Like many oil rich countries, Angola set up a sovereign wealth fund to invest the proceeds of its natural resource wealth. Similar schemes have been used by other countries to help ensure a steady income for future generations.

Angola is wracked by corruption, suffers extreme poverty and has one of the highest child mortality rates in the world.

The fund, Fundo Soberano De Angola (FSDEA), which began with $5bn (£3.75bn) in 2011, was mired in controversy from the start, after the then Angolan President Eduardo dos Santos’ son, 39-year-old Jose Filomeno, was appointed to head it up.

Jean-Claude Bastos, sometimes also known as Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, a Swiss-Angolan and close friend of the then president’s son, was chosen as the fund’s asset manager.

Typically, a fund of this size would spread the risk of investment among several asset managers, along with the fees it pays, said one expert.

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