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Guinea Bissau Arrests Ex-Minister Amid Probe of Funds

Feb. 8 (Bloomberg) -- The former finance minister of Guinea Bissau, Jose Mario Vaz, was arrested on charges of embezzlement, according to the attorney-general.

Vaz has been detained in the capital, Bissau, since Feb. 4 while investigations continue “to find out what happened with $12.5 million donated by the Angolan government for budget support,”, the office of the attorney-general said in a document. He is “the only source who can explain where the money is,” according to the note.

Vaz, who was finance minister from 2009 until a coup in April last year, will appear before a criminal court, state-run Radio Difusao Nacional said Feb. 6. Octavio Lopes, a lawyer for Vaz, told Jornal Digital he won’t comment on the case.

Angola suspended aid and military training to the former Portuguese colony after the overthrow of interim President Raimundo Pereira, who was deposed two weeks before elections were due to take place.

To contact the reporter on this story: Caramo Cassama in Johannesburg at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at

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