Isabel dos Santos of Angola has finally been dragged to court, charged with money laundering and mismanagement of public assets.
This is a fall from grace for the billionaire daughter of Angola’s former President, Jose Eduardo. She was recently sacked as Chairwoman of Sonangol, the country’s state-owned energy company.
The BBC reported that dos Santos allegedly worked with four other accomplices to embezzled public funds from Sonangol. The embezzled funds helped her to amass her $2.1 billion fortune. She worked in the oil company for about a year and a half, following a controversial appointment by her father in 2016.
Angola’s Prosecutor General, Helder Pitta Gros, is now fighting to recover the money which has been estimated at $1 billion. He spoke to journalists Wednesday evening and disclosed the allegations against the embattled businesswoman.
“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.”
Earlier in the week, there were media reports about some leaked 700,000 documents detailing how the billionaire amassed her billions through unscrupulous means. A lot of the money she embezzled was transferred abroad.
[READ MORE: Africa’s richest woman almost got fired again)
In the meantime, the billionaire is in hiding. She fled Angola shortly after the investigation, which was initiated by her successor, Carlos Saturnino, led to her indictment. Angola is now seeking an international arrest warrant for her and her accomplices.
Nairametrics reported that the woman had denied all the allegations. Earlier this month, she lamented that her businesses were in trouble following what she described as a politically motivated witch hunt.
Angola’s President Joao Lourenco has been cracking hard on corruption, albeit with a special focus on the family members of his predecessors.