(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Treasury has imposed sanctions on a former Angolan military general who has been a longstanding partner of Trafigura Group, accusing him of corruption and embezzlement.
Leopoldino Fragoso do Nascimento, commonly known as “General Dino”, was a close associate of former Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled for about four decades until 2017.
In a statement on Thursday, the U.S. Treasury alleged that General Dino and another former Angolan government official “stole billions of dollars from the Angolan government through embezzlement”.
The Treasury made no suggestion that his ventures with Trafigura had been involved in corruption. Nonetheless, the move is likely to be a headache for the commodity trader. It’s the latest example of the business partners of the world’s top commodity traders ending up in Washington’s crosshairs.
Among the entities designated by the U.S. as being owned or controlled by General Dino was Cochan Holdings LLC, which has a 3.26% stake in Trafigura’s fuel station business, Puma Energy. He has also been the trading house’s partner in DT Group, an Africa-focused infrastructure and logistics unit.
“Neither Cochan Holdings nor Leopoldino Fragoso do Nascimento have any managerial nor operational input into the business,” a Trafigura spokesperson said of Puma Energy. “We are currently reviewing our position following today’s announcement.”
General Dino could not be reached for comment; an email to Cochan on Thursday wasn’t immediately answered.
Trafigura has moved to reduce its ties with General Dino in recent years. Last year, it paid $390 million to buy back the bulk of his shares in Puma Energy. In its annual report earlier this week, it said it had bought the 50% it didn’t own of the holding company of DT Group from Cochan Singapore Pte at the end of September.
General Dino has been a director of Cochan Singapore Pte, according to corporate filings, but the unit wasn’t among those the U.S. named on Thursday as being under sanctions. Trafigura said in its annual report that it had agreed to pay $193 million to Cochan Singapore Pte over the next five years as a consideration for the stake in DT Group.
The Trafigura spokesperson said that the company would comply with all relevant sanctions.
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