Home » German state-owned bank fined for Angolan loan linked to Isabel dos Santos’ beer company

German state-owned bank fined for Angolan loan linked to Isabel dos Santos’ beer company

by Ishioma Emi
Isabella Dos Santos (Angola)

German prosecutors have imposed a $178,000-fine on KfW-Ipex-Bank for violating its anti-money laundering laws when it approved a loan transaction to Sodiba, an Angolan beer company owned by Isabel dos Santos, Global Trade Review reported.

KfW-Ipex-Bank is an import-export bank and a subsidiary of Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau (KfW), a state-controlled investment and development bank reputed to be one of the world’s largest government financing agencies.

In 2015, the bank loaned more than $55 million to Banco de Poupanca e Credito, a state-owned lender in Angola that later loaned the money to the brewery company.

The report quoted an anonymous spokesperson for KfW Ipex-Bank as saying that the fine did not include any criminal wrongdoing by the German bank and it is not expected to lead to further proceedings.

“The investigations resulted only in an administrative fine against Ipex for negligent violation of certain internal procedural processes,” the spokeperson said. “This has brought to an end the investigations.” 

German prosecutors began the investigation last year, but stopped due to limited evidence. However, it issued the fine due to negligence in obtaining the required approval for the transaction.

A brief background

The KfW-Ipex-Bank transaction was first exposed in the Luanda Leaks, an investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists conducted in 2020 in partnership with Seddeutsche Zeitung and two other media outlets. 

The investigation uncovered insider deals that allegedly helped make dos Santos, the daughter of Angola’s former autocratic president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, Africa’s richest woman.

Thanks to her father’s influence, media have reported, the former billionaire was placed at the helm of Sonangol, the state-owned oil company, from 2016 to 2017.

However, the Luanda Leaks uncovered how she siphoned off billions of dollars in public funds to offshore investments, impoverishing the oil-rich country.

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