Isabel dos Santos officially charged with economic crimes

24 Jan 2020

Angola’s attorney general has officially accused Angolan billionaire and telecoms investor Isabel dos Santos of fraudulent conduct in relation to her previous position as head of state-owned oil firm Sonangol, Capacity Media reports. On 22 January Helder Pitta Gros announced: ‘Isabel dos Santos is accused of mismanagement and embezzlement of funds during her tenure at Sonangol and is thus charged in the first instance with the crimes of money laundering, influence peddling, harmful management, forgery of documents, among other economic crimes,’ adding that if failing to return to Angola from the UK, an international arrest warrant would be issued for the businesswoman.

Dos Santos – daughter of former Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos – has vowed to fight a ‘politically motivated’ court order issued on 23 December to seize an estimated USD1 billion worth of her assets including a 25% indirect stake in Angola’s leading mobile operator Unitel. According to the BBC, a leaked document alleges that Ms dos Santos signed off as both lender and borrower when arranging for Unitel to loan EUR350 million (USD388 million) to her own company, Netherlands-based Unitel International Holdings, representing a conflict of interest.

Angola, Unitel (Angola), Unitel International Holdings