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Zurich AM firm wins bid to lift CHF 2.9 billion asset freeze

Zurich AM firm wins bid to lift CHF 2.9 billion asset freeze

The UK's High Court of Justice has lifted a CHF 2.98 billion asset freeze that it previously imposed on Zurich-based asset manager Quantum Global Group and its founder Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais amid an ongoing legal battle with the Angola Sovereign Wealth fund (FSDEA).

A statement released by Quantum Global Group quoted Justice Popplewell, who said in the proceedings: 'I have reached a clear view that… the freezing order should be discharged in its entirety and no fresh freezing order granted.'

Bastos de Morais responded to the judgement, saying: 'I am pleased that the judge has seen fit to discharge the freezing order in its entirety. I have always believed that the truth and facts about our work with the Angolan fund would come out.'

The UK court froze the assets in April after the FSDEA's legal team complained that the money may be being used in an alleged fraudulent conspiracy. 

Prior to the CHF 2.98 billion freeze, Quantum Global had 25 of its bank accounts frozen and seven licences revoked by Mauritius and was accused of being involved in a suspicious CHF 497.9 million bank transfer from the UK. 

The company was also investigated by Switzerland's federal prosecutor's office for money laundering, which froze CHF 210 million in global assets. 

These freezing orders have 'heavily impacted' Quantum Global's business, according to Bastos de Morais.

'The freezing order has heavily impacted our investment projects in Angola and Africa and caused serious hardship for our employees in Angola, Mauritius and Switzerland, as many of them have not been paid for months,' Bastos de Morais said.

'I remain open to a negotiated resolution to our dispute so that we may continue to contribute to economic growth and prosperity for Angola and Africa.'

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