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Report: Swiss authorities ramp up probe linked to Angola's sovereign fund

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Report: Swiss authorities ramp up probe linked to Angola's sovereign fund

The Swiss attorney general on May 16 conducted searches at several locations in Switzerland as part of its criminal probe into alleged money laundering involving Angola's $5 billion sovereign wealth fund and Banco Nacional de Angola, Reuters reported.

The Fondo Soberano de Angola has been involved in a dispute with former boss José Filomeno dos Santos, son of former Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos, and Swiss asset manager Quantum Global, which was contracted by the sovereign wealth fund to invest money for it. The fund has accused Quantum Global of mismanagement and called for a global freeze on its assets, along with an order for banks to reveal information on any accounts held in its name or on behalf of it, according to the newswire.

However, the Swiss asset manager, which is headed by Filomeno dos Santos' long-term business partner, Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, said all funds of the Angolan sovereign wealth fund are intact and properly accounted for. The fund has already taken its fight to the British courts, according to the report.

The Swiss attorney general, which launched its investigation in April after reports surfaced of alleged offences involving assets held by the fund and the Angolan central bank, declined to specify the locations that it raided, while also not specifying which entities are currently being probed, Reuters said. The regulator noted that its searches were coordinated with that by another authority, according to the newswire.

Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger reported that Switzerland's federal tax authorities have conducted raids at Quantum Global's Zug-based headquarters and Bastos de Morais' Zurich-based Turtle Management, Reuters added.