José Filomeno dos Santos, the son of Angola’s ex-president, José Eduardo dos Santos, was, on Friday, slapped with a five-year jail sentence for fraud when he was the head of the Southern African country’s Sovereign Wealth Fund between 2013 and 2018.
Popularly known as Zenu, the 42-year-old was accused of attempting to embezzle up to $1.5 billion from the oil-rich country’s $5 billion national sovereign wealth fund. He was also charged with stealing $500 million from its coffers and transferring it to a Swiss bank account, BBC reports.
“For the crime of fraud… and for the crime of peddling influence… the legal cumulus condemns him to a single sentence of five years in prison,” Supreme Court judge Joao da Cruz Pitra said during the sentencing.
Joao Lourenço, who took over as president of the country in 2017 after dos Santos stepped down after 38 years, launched an anti-corruption drive targeting former public officials including his predecessor’s family.
Zenu’s sister and Africa’s richest woman, Isabel dos Santos, is also facing legal woes pertaining to alleged mismanagement and embezzlement of funds during her tenure as head of state oil company, Sonangol. Authorities have frozen the billionaire and her husband’s bank accounts after being accused of siphoning off more than $1 billion from Angolan state companies, with prosecutors seeking to recover the funds dos Santos and her associates are alleged to owe the state.
Zenu isn’t the first son of a former or current African president made to face the full brunt of the law for an alleged crime. These other three have also landed in trouble: