Angola: Dutch Court Dismisses Isabel Dos Santos Case

A #LuandaLeaks illustration, showing how Isabel Dos Santos exploited family ties, shell companies and inside deals to build an empire.

Luanda — A Dutch court has dismissed a case brought by Isabel dos Santos in which the Angolan businesswoman demanded the removal of the judicial administrator appointed to the Esperaza Holding that in the Exem Energy and Sonangol holds an indirect share in Galp Energy.

Quoted by Portuguese newspaper Expresso, the Exem Energy, a company controlled by Isabel dos Santos, had as a shareholder her late husband, Sindika Dokolo.

On May 21, the Exem Energy demanded the removal of Camilo Schutte as judicial administrator of Esperaza Holding.

The attempt aimed to invalidate the report prepared by Schutte, which referred to the Angolan State's effort to remove the Exem and Isabel dos Santos from Esperaza.

This was to allow Sonangol take up exclusive control of th company holding 45% of Amorim Energy, the company that controls 33,34 of Galp.

The Dutch justice refused the appeal filed by Exem, that requested the Schutte removal, as part of a decision made last week and released on Monday by ICIJ - International Consortium of Investigative Journalists of which the Expresso newspaper is part and which was responsible for publication of Luanda Leaks.

Effort by ICIJ to get comment on the decision, the advisory team of Isabel dos Santos failed to cooperate, until the time the story was published by ICIJ.

The Esperaza trustee prepared a report that may compel the Dutch justice to declare as null the agreement through which, in 2006 the Exem secured the purchase of an indirect asset of 6% in Galp.

Under this agreement, the Exem (of Sindika Dokolo and Isabel dos Santos) acquired 40% of Esperaza (owner of 45% of Amorim Energy).

However, most of the amount for this acquisition had been incurred by Sonangol, which remained with 60% of Esperaza, in an loan that Exem would only have to pay after 10 years.

According to the Expresso newspaper, the report that Camilo Shutte completed last May considers null the purchase agreement of 40% of Esperaza by Exem and as invalid the payment of a dividend of 52.6 million Euros to Exem in 2017.

The administrator concluded as well that Sonangol is the only legitimate beneficiary of Esperaza, whose indirect share in Galp is of 15%. Up to date, 9% was attributed to Sonangol and the remaining 6% to Isabel dos Santos.

Esperaza administrator highlighted in his report that the 2006 agreement allowed the Exem to secure a 40% share in Esperaza, worth 115 million Euros, only paying 75 million, of which 11 million at the head and the remainder on a deferred basis.

The same official states that this transference of public assets of Sonangol to the family members of the former president of Angola, through a transaction that was hidden from the public and that implies a transference of state assets of high value to its particular side, in a exchange of an unreal economic assessment shows that the Exem transaction is part of a corruption activity and a money laundering scheme.

The administrator indicates that it will be up to the Dutch Public Prosecutor´s Office to assess whether the facts that occurred in 2006 are likely to constitute other criminal offences.

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