The Portuguese authorities should remain concerned and vigilant about “suspicious" major investments made by Angolan citizens in luxury property, companies and financial institutions in the country, according to a report from the US State Department.
"The Government of Portugal should continue to be concerned about many suspicious and large scale Angolan investments in Portuguese luxury real estate, businesses, and financial institutions," states this year's International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INSCR), recently released. "There are allegations Portugal serves as a hub for laundering illicit funds for Angola’s ruling class."
Angola is not the only source of concern, the report stresses.
"Increased Chinese efforts to establish political and economic influence also warrant monitoring," it states.
The INSCR profiles some 90 countries where money laundering relating to narcotics is concerned. It lists Portugal as one of the transit points for drug trafficking.
"Portugal’s long coastline, vast territorial waters, and privileged relationships with countries in South America and Lusophone Africa make it a gateway country for South American cocaine and a transshipment point for drugs coming to Europe from West Africa," the report observes.
The Portuguese authorities have detected criminal funds being placed into the financial system from smuggled commodities, particularly tobacco products, the report notes. It also lists the country's casinos, in several of which "business interests from China (Macau) have significant involvement" as among "vulnerabilities" where money laundering is concerned.