Africa

Close to half a million illegal foreigners have been forced to leave Angola

Operation Transparency in Angola is aimed at ridding the country of anyone involved in illegal diamond dealings. Since the start of Operation Transparency, almost half a million foreigners, living illegally in the country, have been forced to leave.

The National Security Council of Luanda has dismantled groups involved in diamond smuggling and those who are plundering the natural resources of Angola. National security groups have also seized diamonds to the value of 34,480 carats as well as 121,783 precious stones. 

It is not only foreign nationals that have been expelled, local Angolans involved in illicit diamond deals have been arrested and detained.

Documentation from Operation Transparency shows that close to 160 Co-Operatives and 289 Houses have been forced to close. Heavy machinery, including bulldozers, tractors, light and heavy vehicles, loader machines, backhoe loaders, motorbikes and bicycles, used by the smugglers, have also been seized.

The Angolan Government has warned that any foreigner found to be working or supporting the illegal diamond trade will be sent out of the country immediately. 

The President of the Republic and Commander-in chief of the Angolan Armed Forces, Joao Lourenco, released a statement Tuesday. Speaking at the First Ordinary Session of the National Security Council, he said Operation Transparency would be extended until illicit diamond smuggling rings had been dismantled.

Resources in the Angolan provinces of Uige, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Malanje, Cuanza Sul, BiĆ© and Cuando Cubango, all ice in diamonds, have been plundered.Many illegal workers fled to Zaire, Luanda and Bengo. Operation Transparency was then extended to cover these areas too. 

In total, 453,022 foreigners have been expelled, a huge success for Operation Transparency.  Of these, 416,496 left of their own accord, 35.884 were repatriated while 842 were transferred to Luanda to await repatriation.

Large amounts of money were seized during the Operation, together with the machinery. Operation Transparency has been successful in breaking down illicit diamond smuggling rings, removing the smugglers and removing their machinery. The operation vows to be transparent in every way, itemising exactly what they seize, in type and number.

Details are exact and the statements read out at the First Ordinary Session of the National Security Council, included numbers of seizures, including 178 backhoe loaders, 30 loader machines, 40 bulldozers, 18 earth moving machinery, 11 agricultural tractors, 346 light and heavy vehicles, 481 motorbikes and 31 bicycles, 123 dredgers, 87 washers, 511 motor pumps, 16 rafts, 98 pneumatic boats, 15 diamond detectors, 128 air compressors, 248 scales, 155 generators, 214 safes, 160 containers and 114 firearms.