. JULIA PAYNE
THE U.S. Treasury Department added former Angolan General Dino and his companies Cochan Holdings, Cochan SA to its specially designated nationals (SDN) list, a statement showed on Thursday.
Individuals on the list have their assets blocked and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them.
Leopoldino Fragoso do Nascimento, known as General Dino, was sanctioned alongside Manuel Helder Vieira Dias Junior.
“(They) are former government officials that stole billions of dollars from the Angolan government through embezzlement,” the statement said, adding that they colluded with other Angolan individuals and Treasury-designated Sam Pa.
The two men were close allies of former President Jose Eduardo dos Santos. Last year, Angolan prosecutors took control of the two men’s assets in the country ranging from factories to residences as part of a crackdown on alleged corruption by the new President Joao Lourenco.
General Dino’s Cochan Holdings has a 3% stake in Puma Energy, owned by global commodity trader Trafigura, which bought most of his shares last year.
“Neither Cochan Holdings nor Leopoldino Fragoso do Nascimento have any managerial nor operational input into the business,” Trafigura said in a statement.
General Dino was also part of another Trafigura company, DTS Holdings, which owns DT Group. As of Sept. 30, Trafigura bought the 50% non-controlling interest in DTS from Cochan’s Singapore arm. Trafigura still owes Cochan $193 million, which was meant to be paid over five years, according to its 2021 annual report.