Search

 

Cablegate: Special Agent Steen Meets with Angolan Central

VZCZCXYZ0003
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLU #0615/01 1711310
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 201310Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY LUANDA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4078
INFO RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0243
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS LUANDA 000615

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

FOR AF/S AND EB/IFD
NSC FOR BPITTMAN
TREASURY FOR INN/CRAND
PARIS FOR SECRET SERVICE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EFIN EINT ECON AO
SUBJECT: SPECIAL AGENT STEEN MEETS WITH ANGOLAN CENTRAL
BANK AND CONDUCTS COUNTERFEIT TRAINING


1. (SBU) Summary. U.S. Secret Service Special Agent William
Steen conducted training in recognizing counterfeit currency
at Embassy Luanda and met with representatives of the Angolan
Central Bank Exchange Reserves Department to discuss training
in currency recognition. While recent changes in the
Kwanza-dollar exchange rate have made the Kwanza more
attractive to ordinary Angolans, there is no timetable for
supplanting the dollar in Angola,s economy. Given the large
amount of U.S. currency circulating in Angola,s highly
dollarized economy, these programs were relevant, timely,
very well-received and help cement Embassy ties with Angolan
law enforcement agencies and financial institutions. Post
appreciates U.S. Secret Service support and hopes additional
training possibilities, including programs conducted by the
Bureau of Engraving and Printing, can soon be arranged. End
Summary.

William Steen at BNA
--------------------
2. (SBU) Secret Service Special Agent William Steen called
on the National Bank of Angola (BNA) in the course of his May
22-25, 2007 visit to Angola to discuss what training the
Secret Service and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing can

SIPDIS
offer the banking sector. Steen met with the head of the
Exchange Reserves department of the Angolan central bank
(BNA), Dr. Isabel Luanda, who welcomed the idea of regular
training sessions, especially for commercial bank employees,
since they handle currency daily and can benefit the most
from training in distinguishing counterfeit from genuine
currency.

Money Laundering
----------------
3. (SBU) The BNA,s Reserves Department works with money
laundering issues, although the primary responsibility rests
with the Ministries of Finance and Justice (MOF and MOJ).
Dr. Luanda noted there is a draft law on money laundering,
but could not pinpoint where it is in the approval process.
In the meantime, since the offices concerned with money
laundering need some interim guidelines in the absence of a
law, the BNA and the MOF have issued regulations, and the BNA
has issued some internal regulations.

U.S. Currency in Circulation
----------------------------
4. (SBU) Dr. Luanda acknowledged that Angola,s economy is
highly dollarized, without giving a specific figure for the
total value of U.S. currency in circulation in the country.
Post notes that most commercial institutions accept U.S.
currency in payment, commercial banks offer
dollar-denominated accounts, and some employers pay salaries
in dollars. With triple-digit inflation a recent memory,
ordinary people who do not have bank accounts and must save
in currency prize the dollar for its relatively stable value.
Recently, Angola,s Kwanza appreciated against the dollar.
Although Angola plans for the Kwanza to displace the dollar
eventually, Dr. Luanda said there is no timetable for
conversion.

5. (SBU) U.S. dollars initially enter the economy from sales
of petroleum. U.S. currency enters the economy to pay
Angolans and Angolan companies for such transactions as rent
) many landlords negotiate rentals calling for two years,
rent paid in advance ) for dollar payrolls, payment for
equipment and vehicles, and payment for business services.
Individuals and businesses make their payments in cash.

Counterfeiting
--------------
6. (SBU) Angola is not a source of counterfeit notes.
However, the police have found counterfeit U.S. currency (as
well as counterfeit Euros) in circulation. Dr. Luanda could
not quantify how serious the problem is. There have been
occasional media reports of GRA seizure of counterfeit U.S.
dollars and speculation that foreign criminal interests were
responsible. The last training offered to Angola,s
commercial banking sector on recognizing counterfeit
banknotes took place in 2005, and was conducted by the Hong
Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC). (Note: HSBC
couriers U.S. currency into Angola for the BNA. End note.)
Bank workers who handle cash daily need regular training, but
the BNA has not been able to arrange such training up until
now, Dr. Luanda said. She was very interested in training

programs for currency identification, and Special Agent Steen
gave a brief sketch of the programs offered by the Bureau of
Engraving and Printing.

Training Provided by Agent Steen
--------------------------------
7. (U) The bulk of SA Steen,s visit was concerned with
providing three four-hour training sessions on counterfeit
currency: how it is made and how to recognize, detect and
report it. At the first session the Embassy hosted a
contingent of Angolan banking and law enforcement officials,
including the Deputy Head of the Interior Ministry,s
National Criminal Investigative Directorate (DNIC). The
second session was for local representatives of the U.S.
private sector, hosted by Chevron Corporation on behalf of
the Angola Country Council of OSAC (the Overseas Security
Advisory Council). The final session was for USG employees,
including cashiers and other staff whose duties involve
handling and safekeeping of U.S. and foreign currency. All
of the sessions were very professionally conducted and
extremely well received by the invited audiences. The Angolan
law enforcement officials expressed particular interest in
receiving more training from the Secret Service, including
appropriate specialized instruction in forensic examination
methods and techniques.

Comment
-------
8. (SBU) The BNA, which has sought to carve out for itself a
more complete and independent role as a central bank,
capitalizes on opportunities to build its relationships with
outside institutions. The training Steen discussed is purely
technical, but if BNA facilitates that training, it can
reinforce its role as supervisor of Angola,s banks. The
training in recognizing counterfeit currency was very
welcome, and the BNA expressed interest in receiving
additional training from the Bureau of Engraving and
Printing. Our Angolan counterparts are eager to establish
regular training. Post appreciates Secret Service training
and welcomes future training opportunities. The training
works as a positive reinforcement of our bilateral fiscal
management and strengthening programs and reinforces the
message to the GRA that the US is ready to help with
improving GRA banking and financial sector capacity.
EFIRD

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN: As COVID Deaths Pass Two Million Worldwide, Guterres Warns Against Self-Defeating ‘Vaccinationalism'

With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. In a video statement , Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Washington Riot And The Georgia Results

Hong Kong and Washington DC. On the same morning, the tyrants in power in Beijing and their counterpart in the White House have shown how they refuse to accept the legitimacy of any different points of view, and the prospect of losing power… More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>


UN Rights Office: Iran Execution Of Child Offender Breaks International Law

The execution of an Iranian man for a crime allegedly committed when he was 16 years old has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and raised concerns over violations of his right to a fair trial. In a statement released on Thursday, ... More>>