Isabel dos Santos ‘named as suspect in criminal investigation’
Africa’s richest woman, Angola’s Isabel dos Santos, has been named as a formal suspect in a criminal investigation, the country’s attorney general is reported to have announced.
Dos Santos amassed a fortune estimated at $2.2bn (£1.7bn) while her father, José Eduardo dos Santos, was president of Angola.
She is battling allegations of corruption and nepotism following the publication of Luanda Leaks, an investigation by the Guardian and other media led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. She denies all wrongdoing.
The allegations against Dos Santos relate to suspected maladministration and misappropriation of funds during her 18-month term as chair of the nation’s state oil company, Sonangol, according to reports of a press conference given by the attorney general, Heldér Pitta Grós, in Luanda.
Angola is the second largest oil-producing nation in Africa after Nigeria, and its state oil company is central to the economy, accounting for some 90% of exports.
Alongside Dos Santos, Pitta Grós named a number of her associates. According to the Portuguese news agency Lusa, they are: Sarju Raikundalia, former Sonangol financial administrator; Mário Leite da Silva, manager of the company and chairman of the board of directors of Banco de Fomento Angola (BFA); Paula Oliveira, a friend of Isabel dos Santos; and a fourth defendant who is a director of Eurobic, a bank in which the former president’s daughter is the largest shareholder.
The global chairman of PwC has warned that heads could roll at the professional services firm over its links to Isabel dos Santos, Africa’s richest woman, who is battling allegations that she obtained her wealth through corruption and nepotism.
Bob Moritz, whose firm advised companies belonging to Dos Santos and her husband across multiple jurisdictions, told the Guardian he was “shocked and disappointed” by recent disclosures about the British-headquartered accounting firm’s work for the daughter of Angola’s former president.
The complex financial schemes that helped Dos Santos amass an estimated $2.2bn (£1.7bn) fortune at the expense of the Angolan state have been revealed this week in the Luanda Leaks investigation, based on a huge cache of documents leaked from her business empire.
Moritz said a PwC investigation would examine whether any individuals at the partnership should lose leadership positions, have their bonuses docked or lose their jobs.
“We’ll look at the individual behaviors, as to whether they come out of leadership roles or have compensation implications, or maybe even [come] out of jobs,” Moritz said, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. “We’ll wait for the investigation, I don’t want to rush. But we need to move with speed to take action to regain confidence.”
Dos Santos has denied that her fortune is the result of nepotism or corruption, and she and her husband have rejected any allegations of wrongdoing, saying their wealth is the result of decades of hard work, and that moves to freeze their assets in Angola are part of a politically motivated “witch-hunt” by her father’s successor as president.
“There is an orchestrated attack by the current government that is completely politically motivated, it’s completely unfounded,” Dos Santos told BBC News. “I can say my holdings are commercial, there are no proceeds from contracts or public contracts or money that has been deviated from other funds.”
Her Portugese banker, was found death the same day her assets were frozen by the bank of Portugal, supposendly suicide.
Who revealed part of this story is a young Portugese hacker called Rui Pinto, who unfortunately for him has been jailed in Portugal for the past year, for revealing a mayor fraud of the football club Benfica and the football organisation Doyen. He was extredited from Hungary and has been in jail ever since, where as the maximal jailtime in Portugal for cybercrime is 5 years.
Post by Sapphire Capital on Feb 19, 2020 0:23:17 GMT 4
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