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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Angola Debt Sparks $10M Elf Seizure

LISBON, Portugal -- A Yugoslav construction company has seized $10 million from the French oil company Elf Aquitaine to cover part of a long overdue debt involving Angola, news reports said Sunday.

The Angolan government owes Belgrade-based Planum $11 million for two air bases the company built in the war-ravaged African country under a project assigned in 1980, Planum attorney Jean-Jacques Trinquet told the Portuguese daily Publico.

Planum last month seized Angola's share of Elf's oil revenues from offshore production in the African country, the newspaper said. The report did not explain just how Planum took the money. But an unidentified Elf official told Publico that French legislation allowed the seizure since Elf owes the Angolan government taxes and rent.

A French court is to rule next week on whether Planum has a right to hold onto the money, Publico said.

The Angolan government had no comment.