Mauritius Freezes $519 Million of Quantum’s Assets
Quantum Global, an investment firm managing part of Angola's sovereign fund, is said to have had assets worth 17.5 billion rupees ($519.4 million) frozen in Mauritius, two officials familiar with the matter said.
Mauritius's Supreme Court has granted freezing orders for 58 accounts held by Quantum Global in three domestic banks, following submissions made by the country's Financial Intelligence Unit, the people said. Legal actions and regulatory sanctions were sped up after a special envoy of the Angolan government made presentations to local officials, they said, asking not to be identified as the government and court have not commented on the matter. The amount of money held was reported earlier by the Port Louis-based Le Mauricien newspaper.
The freezing orders represent the beginning of a process toward disbursing the funds, the official said. Ultimately the money can be repatriated to Angola at the request of its government, the person said.
Quantum Global Group said Tuesday that while accounts have been frozen, it has yet to be informed of specific allegations. "It is difficult for us to defend ourselves against the actions of the authorities when they have not explained the reasons for them," the company said in response to questions, declining to comment on the value of the frozen assets.
Quantum Global, whose founder and chief executive officer is Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, has offices in Switzerland, Angola and Mauritius. It manages African funds from the Indian Ocean-island nation. The Mauritian financial-services regulator also suspended seven funds investing on behalf of Angola. Swiss newspaper Le Matin Dimanche reported last year that Quantum was investing $3 billion of the sovereign wealth fund formed in 2012 with an initial endowment of $5 billion.
Officials at the sovereign wealth fund weren't immediately reachable by phone in Luanda. Luis Fernando, the spokesman for the Angolan president, did not respond to calls to his mobile phone.
Quantum said on Monday it hasn't had an opportunity to provide the authorities with the "necessary assurances" to continue to conduct its investment activities and that it hadn't been involved in the recent review process.