02 December 2016, Luanda -Today Maka Angola can shed light on a relatively clumsy sleight of hand by the former Chairman of the Board and CEO of Sonangol USA. Step forward Baptista Sumbe, who occupied that position between 1997 and 2009.
In 2006, for the sum of US $400,000, Baptista Sumbe and his wife Rosa acquired approximately 550 square meters of land, demarcated as Plot 4, Block 3, Section 11 of the Royal Oaks Country Club in Houston, Texas. They borrowed $306,000 from the Compass Bank on June 26, 2006 to help pay for it. So far, so legit.
But Baptista Sumbe didn’t really need a bank loan. He had already gone knocking on the door of Sonangol USA, the company in which he was Chairman of the Board. On November 1, 2006, Mr and Mrs Sumbe had arranged to borrow from Sonangol USA the sum of US $1,750,000 for their personal use. They wanted the money to build a six-bedroom, seven-bathroom mini-mansion with a swimming pool. Conveniently, Mr Sumbe’s position allowed him to authorize a company loan to himself.
Current real estate valuations estimate the house is now worth between $1.4 and 1.6 million dollars and official figures show that the actual cost of the build was barely one million dollars.
Following the money
Within a year, the Compass Bank loan had been paid off. But not by Mr Sumbe. Documents dated March 7, 2007 show that the Compass Bank Vice-President Jeff Denney signed over the transfer of the mortgage… to Sonangol USA. This document was notarized by the notary public for Jefferson County, Alabama where the bank is based
- Maka Angola