Angola: Africa's Richest Woman Isabel Dos Santos Charged With Fraud

How Africa’s richest woman exploited family ties, shell companies and inside deals to build an empire.
23 January 2020

Cape Town — A court in Luanda has charged Isabel dos Santos with money laundering and mismanagement during her time as chairwoman of state oil firm Sonangol, reports France 24.

This comes days after a massive cache of leaked emails linked her U.S.$2.1-billion fortune to the looting of state funds.

"Isabel dos Santos is accused of mismanagement and embezzlement of funds during her tenure at Sonangol and is thus charged in the first instance with the crimes of money laundering, influence peddling, harmful management ... forgery of documents, among other economic crimes," Prosecutor General Helder Pitta Gros reportedly said.

Named Africa's richest woman by Forbes, the daughter of veteran Angolan politician and former president Eduardo dos Santos was allegedly using her father's backing to plunder state funds from the oil-rich but poor southern African country and moving the money abroad with the help of Western companies.

Dos Santos denied the corruption revealed by the leaked documents and claimed that the Angolan government was engaged in a politically motivated witch-hunt.

She stopped living in Angola after her father, who ruled the country with an iron fist for nearly 40 years, stepped down in 2017 for his chosen successor Joao Lourenco.

Gros has called on Dos Santos to return to Angola and face potential criminal charges.

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