Arms and corruption with Angola:  President Chirac and President dos Santos
have a lot of explaining to do, by Global Witness, UK


A press release by Global Witness of UK on first anniversary of their very
revealing report `A Crude Awakening'. < witness>
Apologies that this is late being forwarded from U/A but it is exciting
news; and shows results of the usual excellent coroporate and political
sleuthing by G.W.
In the meantime Jean-Christophe Mitterand, son of Francois, has been bailed
out of jail by his mother for $700,000. Other political and corporate
figures are implicated.
We need all kinds of pressure from every source to get the answers to the
questions/demands that GW makes at the end of this press rlease on
corporate and political players, including the president of Angola.
Organization is needed within (as leader) and without Angola; repression
mounts within, especially on journalists and media people; we without
remain relatively uncoordinated, especially across the Atlantic, and within
North America.  Ideas?????
Jim Kirkwood

Global Witness
22nd December 2000

Arms and corruption with Angola:  President Chirac and President dos Santos
have a lot of explaining to do

The growing political scandal in France since the arrest of President dos
Santos' weapons "facilitator" Pierre Falcone on December 2nd is but the tip
of the iceberg of a gruesome tale of money laundering and state robbery at
the expense of the long-suffering Angolan people.  Far from being simply
another French corruption scandal, the real story is wide reaching and
involves international oil companies, off-shore financial centres,
international banks, highest level French and Angolan officials and is
ultimately about how the Angolan war has been privatised to the benefit of
the elite.

It is clear that Pierre Falcone's "disquettes" provide considerable detail
about the "contracts" that were established in the course of the early years
of his involvement in Angola, after 1993.  A letter to President dos Santos
allegedly indicates that a certain "Robert" was paid US$450,000 - Pierre
Falcone's telephone book apparently suggests that "Robert" is non other than
Jean-Charles Marchiani, who has denied everything, stating that this was a
"defence and a security matter".  Global Witness would suggest that this is
a totally inadequate explanation and that Mr Marchiani should fully clarify
his role and that of his former boss, Mr Charles Pasqua (then French
Interior Minister) with the operations of Pierre Falcone.

In addition to this morning's arrest of Jean-Christophe Mitterand, various
other individuals have been arrested and interviewed by the French
"Financial Brigade".  These include the Director of Brenco International
Jerome Mulard and Pierre Falcone's secretary.  Another key individual
involved with the Falcone/Angola operation was Russian businessman Arkadi
Gaidamak, for whom the French authorities issued an international arrest
warrant on December 6th.  Gaidamak, of course, claims his innocence and has
gone to ground, seemingly escaping the clutches of the authorities.  It will
be very interesting to see the results of investigations into the numerous
business operations of Mr Gaidamak.

So far, press coverage seems to have focused on two main arms shipments that
took place in the early 1990's.  However, Global Witness believes that these
arrangements were the prelude to a process that has led to the
"privatisation" of the Angolan conflict and to increasing levels of
kick-backs, which have continued, to the present day, where the current
scale of state robbery appears to be easily a competition for Abacha's
Nigeria and Mobutu's Zaire.  The structure of these operations is very
complex and it is clear that there are many unanswered questions.  Global
Witness believes the following points should be considered:

1. President Chirac should clarify if he has had any role in this
affair - in particular, what if any relationship he has with Falcon Oil
(Panama) - a Paris based company with connections to Pierre Falcone and
equity partner in Exxon Mobil's Angolan oil Block 33.
2. Exxon Mobil should clarify publicly what they know about Falcon Oil
3. What is the connection between Falcon Oil (Panama) and Prodev, the
latter being an equity partner in TotalFinaElf's Angolan oil Block 32.
4. Investigators should look into the activities of CADA - Companhia
Angolana de Distribuicao Alimentar - a subsidiary of Brenco International.
CADA has numerous offices offices in London and the British Virgin Islands.
Sources indicate that the company has had more than US$ 1 billion pass
through its accounts during 2000.
5. Investigators should also look into the activities of ARGO - a Sao
Paulo, Brasil based company, which is also a subsidiary of Brenco
International and which is involved in the supply of food to the Angolan
Armed Forces.
6. President dos Santos should explain why he gave Angolan citizenship
to Pierre Falcone and Arkadi Gaidamak, and made them signatories (according
to Mr Gaidamak) of secret accounts at Banque Paribas.
7. President dos Santos should explain his relationship with Brenco
International, CADA, ARGO and the delivery of arms supplies financed from
loans provided by Paribas against future oil production.
8. President dos Santos should ensure that the revenues which were
derived from the oil backed loan/arms trade process should be fully audited
and the results made public.

Editor's notes:

1. Global Witness published the report "A Crude Awakening" in December
1999, which examined the role of the oil and banking industries in Angola's
civil war.  This document provides additional information about the
activities of some of these key players.  See web site:
2. For further information, please contact:  +44 (0)7957 142 121