Home » Isabel dos Santos cries foul against Angolan government

Isabel dos Santos cries foul against Angolan government

by Editorial Team

Africa’s one-time wealthiest woman Isabel dos Santos has filed a complaint in a London court against Angolan President Joao Lourenco. She accused Lourenco of “conspiracy to seize her assets,” Africanews reported

According to the report, dos Santos hired the private Israeli intelligence firm Black Cube, which went to significant lengths to provide evidence in support of her claims.

The agency apparently has secret recordings of several high-ranking Angolan officials within Lourenco’s government, acting “to coordinate a campaign to seize her assets.”

In the filing, dos Santos cited the government’s supposed pressure on the judiciary and affirmed that the infamous “Luanda Leaks,” which revealed her alleged large-scale embezzlement of funds, were also an attack against her.

Upon assuming office in September 2017 as a successor to President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, Isabel’s father, Lourenco launched an aggressive anti-corruption probe against the dos Santos empire. The move gave rise to the Luanda Leaks and eventually crumbled the empire of the most prize female billionaire in all of Africa.

On Jan. 19, 2020, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published a detailed report on how dos Santos amassed her wealth over the years in the Luanda Leaks, providing evidence of how she made a fortune at the expense of the Angolan people. The report led to the freezing of her assets, including by the government.

However, Lourenco’s anti-corruption crusade also seems to have boomeranged following recent allegations of nepotism. A 2020 publication by The African Report revealed that Edeltrudes Costa, his right-hand man and former minister of state under Jose Eduardo dos Santos, has benefitted from public contracts Lourenco approved.

The contracts were awarded to Costa’s consulting company EMFC Consulting for infrastructural development. However, EMFC invested in real estate in Portugal through offshore companies. 

AllAfrica reported that one of the companies, which was slated to modernize Angola’s airports, earned several million euros in public contracts. The funds ended up in Portugal and were used to purchase luxury houses in Sintra and Cascais.

In February, Verangola revealed that the president, his wife and allies have been under investigation by the United States for about a year. U.S. investigators claim to have evidence of Lourenco’s transactions and those of his partners, which could violate U.S. law. 

The report cited an official document as stating that U.S. President Joe Biden will breathe new life into the investigation into the Angolan president and his allies.

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