The bank accounts of Isabel dos Santos have been frozen by the government of Portugal as corruption investigations in Angola continue into Africa’s richest woman.
Portugal is cooperating with Angola, its former colonial territory and one of its closest international partners.
Private and corporate accounts belonging to Dos Santos and her husband Sindika Dokola have been frozen, according to the office of Portugal’s public prosecutor.
More about this
Angola had requested the favor from Portugal as dos Santos’ native country looks into the circumstances that have contributed to her estimated $2.2 billion wealth.
As he was nearing his 38-year reign as leader of Angola, José Eduardo dos Santos, Isabel’s father, appointed his daughter to chair Sonangol, Angola’s premium natural gas and petroleum production company.
She has been accused of mismanagement and embezzlement of funds during her tenure at Sonangol.
Prosecutors, the BBC reports, are seeking to recover $1 billion that Dos Santos and her associates are alleged to owe the state.
According to Helder Pitta Gros, Angola’s attorney-general, Dos Santos was being provisionally charged with “money laundering, influence peddling, harmful management… [and] forgery of documents, among other economic crimes”.
Dos Santos recently denied with vehemence any wrongdoing in an interview with Al Jazeera. She debunked allegations she siphoned hundreds of millions of dollars of public money into offshore accounts.
One of the fallouts from this probe is the palpable friction between the older Dos Santos and current president, João Lourenço.
Some have said Lourenço has set his political guns blazing with one eye on Isabel who wants to be president.