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Vol 43 No 2

Published 25th January 2002


Angola

Russian roulette

Unexplained debts and secret accounts alarm the IMF and deter investors

Before the International Monetary Fund lends money, it needs to know about the recipient's other debts. Angola's government has borrowed huge sums which are not audited or included in the budget, using future oil exports as security. Bankers and officials say these arrangements are open to abuse to corrupt officials. The Fund therefore stopped its Angola programme last June and will send another mission in February to see if relations can start up again. The most mysterious deal of all is a multi-billion dollar scheme to buy back Russian debt, negotiated in 1996 under the auspices of Arkady Gaydamak. He is an arms dealer, based in Israel since the French authorities issued an international warrant for his arrest in December 2000 (AC Vol 42 No 3).

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