Africa

Court orders seizure of assets belonging to Africa’s richest woman

An Angolan court has ordered the seizure of the assets and bank accounts of the billionaire daughter of ex-President José Eduardo dos Santos.
The seizure appears to be part of an anti-corruption drive by the current government in oil-rich Angola.

The administration of President Joao Lourenço is seeking to recover $1bn (£760m) it says it is owed by Isabel dos Santos and her associates.

She has repeatedly denied wrongdoing during her father’s term in office.

Often described as Africa’s richest woman, Forbes magazine puts Ms. Dos Santos’ fortune at $2.2bn.

The 46-year-old lives abroad, saying she moved from Angola because her life had been threatened.

She runs a huge business empire with stakes in companies in Angola and Portugal, where she has shares in cable television firm Nos SGPS.

The court ordered the freezing of Ms. Dos Santos’ Angolan bank accounts and the seizure of her stake in local companies, including telecoms giant Unitel and bank Fomento de Angola (BFA), the state-owned news agency reported.

In a tweet, Ms. Dos Santos did not refer directly to the court order, but said that “the road is long, the truth will prevail”.

Ms. Dos Santos gained a high public profile in 2016 when her father controversially appointed her as the head of Angola’s state-owned oil firm Sonangol.

She was sacked from the post in 2017 by Mr. Lourenço, her father’s handpicked successor.

Her brother, José Filomeno dos Santos, is on trial in Angola on charges of corruption.

The prosecution alleges that he and his co-accused helped spirit $500m out of the country during his time as head of Angola’s Sovereign Wealth Fund. They have pleaded not guilty.

|Graphic Online

GWO

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