By Gabriele Steinhauser 

Angola's Supreme Court convicted the son of the former president and the former governor of the central bank of embezzling $500 million from the country's central bank in 2017, the state news agency reported Friday.

José Filomeno dos Santos was sentenced to five years in prison for participating in a convoluted plot to defraud the National Bank of Angola in the final weeks of his father's 38-year rule of the southern African country.

The former governor, Valter Filipe da Silva, who authorized the $500 million transfer from the central bank's account in London to the HSBC Holdings PLC account of a private company with no apparent operations, was sentenced to eight years.

Another former central bank official and a business partner of Mr. dos Sanots were also sentenced to five and six year terms, respectively. The four men will remain free pending appeals of their sentences, the news agency, Angop, reported.

U.K. authorities returned the $500 million to Angola after the fraud was uncovered in March 2018.

Friday's judgment marks the first conviction of a family member of former President José Eduardo dos Santos, whom the government of his successor, João Lourenço, has accused of stealing more than a billion dollars from the oil-producing country. Angolan authorities have frozen assets owned by Isabel dos Santos, the former president's daughter and long considered Africa's richest woman.

Ms. dos Santos, who was the chief executive of Angolan state oil company Sonangol until November 2017, has denied wrongdoing and says that she built her wealth without help from her father.

Write to Gabriele Steinhauser at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 14, 2020 12:11 ET (16:11 GMT)

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