Since February, the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates has received a request from the Angolan authorities for judicial cooperation. The Financial Intelligence Unit of the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates doubled its efforts just before Ramadan began. This has led to an increase in requests to Emirati banks for accounts that were opened by Konema Mwenenge, and the daughter of former Angolan president. They are currently the subject of numerous legal proceedings in Luanda by Angolan state corporations, including misappropriation public money.
These demands are being passed on to customers by banks. The accounts of Konema Mwenenge, a long-standing friend, power broker, and childhood friend of the Emirates NBD (formerly known as the National Bank of Dubai), were frozen by the Emirates NBD (previously the National Bank of Dubai). Two other banks had reported accounts to the Financial Intelligence Unit earlier this month. Mashreqbank was one of the banks that reported accounts to the Financial Intelligence Unit. Konema Mwenenge, the institution’s business and personal account holder, has since been frozen.
The Emirati financial authorities have made some surprising discoveries as a result of ongoing investigations. Some local banks offer their clients electronic bank accounts (digital) based on the Payoneer model. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) has granted Konema Mwenenge permission to open several accounts. These accounts also allow for online money transfers and can be used with his Belgian passport. The businessman also holds French and Congolese nationalities.
Finally, the Emirati financial intelligence unit has contacted two branches of HSBC and CitiBank in their local branches. These institutions have yet to respond.