Isabel dos Santos
22 January 2020
Isabel dos Santos (born 1973) is an Angolan businesswoman, Africa’s richest woman and the eldest child of Angola’s former President José Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled the country from 1979 to 2017. In 2013, Forbes estimated her net worth to exceeded US$2 billion making her Africa’s first female US dollar billionaire. Forbes described that her wealth came from her investments in companies doing business in Angola using her father’s connections and power.
Since 2018, the Angolan Government has been trying to prosecute Isabel dos Santos for past corruption crimes that may have led to Angola’s ongoing recession crisis. Her Angolan bank accounts have been frozen and her stakes in Angolan companies have been seized. Angolan government is also negotiating with Portugal for the seizure of her assets there. She remains in exile in UAE.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, dos Santos, her husband, Sindika Dokolo, and Mário Filipe Moreira Leite da Silva entered into deals with the Angolan state through the companies Sodiam, a public diamond sales company, and Sonangol, the state oil company. As a result of these deals, the Angolan state suffered a loss of $1.14 billion.
Thousands of documents detailing her business interests dubbed “Luanda Leaks” were obtained by the Platform to Protect Whistle-blowers in Africa and then passed to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. BBC Panorama has been given access to more than 700,000 of these leaked documents. dos Santos wrote on Twitter that the leaked documents were “fake” and based on “false information.”
Portuguese authorities said on they had started investigating media reports concerning dos Santos, while Eurobic bank said it had decided to put an end to commercial relationships with entities she Isabel dos Santos controls. Eurobic was already under investigation from the central bank over its links to dos Santos. dos Santos is the main shareholder of Eurobic bank.
According to an investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Dubai-based Matter Business Solutions which was implicated in the alleged looting of Angola’s state-owned oil company by Isabel dos Santos. Matter Business Solutions received $115m from Sonangol, the Angolan state-owned oil producer during the time she chaired Sonangol. The funds were then parked in the bank accounts linked to her and her Congolese husband, Sindika Dokolo.
Angola, rich in natural resources such as oil, gas, diamonds and hydro-electric potential, remains one of the poorest countries of the world.
Yahoo News Singapore reported.