Angola vows to bring back dos Santos after 'Luanda Leaks' release

Clay Curtis
January 21, 2020

Speaking on public radio on Monday, Helder Pitra Gros, Angola's prosecutor general, said: "We will use all possible means and activate worldwide mechanisms to bring Isabel dos Santos back to the country".

The accounts and assets of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos' daughter who ruled Angola with an iron fist for 38 years (1979-2017) in Angolan companies were frozen in December.

Isabel dos Santos, daughter of Angola's former president is a British-educated billionaire businesswoman faces allegations of plundering the public purse and funneling the money overseas while she headed state's oil company Sonangol - accusations she vehemently denies.

Africa's richest woman has been accused of corruption and exploiting her own country's natural resources, after thousands of documents detailing her business interests were leaked to the media.

The leaked materials also revealed that in November 2017, when Ms. dos Santos was chairwoman of Angola's state oil company, Sonangol, more than $57 million was transferred from that company to the bank account of a Dubai company owned by a friend of hers.

Dos Santos said on Wednesday that she would consider running for president in the next election in 2022.

Isabelle dos Santos, who was ranked by Forbes magazine as the richest woman in Africa, confirmed that she was being subjected to a "chase campaign" aimed at discrediting her father and her reputation.

Dos Santos's lawyer dismissed the ICIJ findings as a "highly coordinated attack" orchestrated by Angola's current rulers, in a statement quoted by The Guardian newspaper. She is worth $2 billion. She said the leak was part of a "concerted attack" on her by the new Angolan government.

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The files were originally obtained by the anti-corruption charity platform for the protection of whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF), which shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). But the investigation that was led by several journalists from around the world revealed that the fortune was in fact earned through her father's influence as the president of the country.

Now BBC Panorama has been given access to more than 700,000 leaked documents about the billionaire's business empire.

"He was a person who took advantage of his position", he said of Dos Santos. She also said that her fortune was due to her character, intelligence, education, capacity for work, and perseverance.

Angola's government is reportedly now trying to extradite Isabel dos Santos (daughter of former President José Eduardo dos Santos) "by all possible means" to prosecute her on corruption charges related to the alleged stealing of massive amounts of money from the Angolan people.

She said she lived in basic student accommodation in London, and worked so hard that she had little time to party, especially with parents that she remembers being "very demanding".

Jose Filomeno dos Santos, 41, the former head of the sovereign investment fund, appeared before the capital's Supreme Court on charges of embezzlement of public funds and money laundering.

But the new president forced her out of the job within months of coming to power.

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