Anti-corruption activists in Luanda have accused the Commander-General of the Angolan National Police Service of using his company to broker a contract to supply 95 000 firearms to the police.
According to anti-corruption website Maka Angola, Commissioner Ambrósio de Lemos Freire dos Santos, as the procurement authority of the Angolan police, awarded his own company, R & AB, the right to broker a deal for police firearms from Taurus in August 2009. Taurus sold 2 600 pistols (including PT917 and PT909 9 mm handguns) to the Angolan National Police for $825 000. However, R & AB is alleged to have invoiced the police for $1.5 million.
Maka Angola activists charge that by bidding and awarding a national tender to R & AB, a company in which he is a 50% shareholder, dos Santos violated the country’s Law of Public Probity.
“A source within the National Police confirms that the Brazilian company told us Taurus was well aware of the commander’s corrupt scheme and even encouraged it in order to close the deal,” reads a statement posted on Maka Angola’s website.
Now, R & AB is apparently trying to secure a contract for 95 000 firearms from Brazil, including submachine guns, pistols, revolvers and riot control equipment. Anti-corruption activists allege that the arms deal, which has been the subject of on and off negotiations with the Florida office of Taurus since 2009, will be fulfilled this year.
The activists say if allowed to go through, the new arms deal with Taurus will make Commissioner dos Santos one of the biggest arms dealers in Sub-Saharan Africa. Commissioner dos Santos has steadfastly declined to comment on the allegations. At the time of going to press, dos Santos had not yet responded to queries sent to him and his office by defenceWeb last week.
“Exportation of arms from Brazil always requires government authorisation, and this transaction with Angola was no exception. How can the Brazilian authorities have given a green light to the sale of pistols to Angola, by means of such a corrupt and simplistic expedient? The name of the commander of the Angolan National Police chief’s name appears on the public deed of the articles of constitution of R & AB. The unrestrained levels of institutional corruption in Angola, on a par with violence, have become the binomial for the exercise of authority by the current regime,” the Maka statement reads in part.