Angola’s state oil company, Sonagol, has announced an investigation into “possible misappropriation” of funds by Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of the former president of Angola, during her time as the company’s chief executive.
Isabel dos Santos was appointed head of Sonangol by her father Jose Eduardo dos Santos in 2016 when he was still the President of Angola. But last month, Angola’s new president Joao Lourenco fired Isabel dos Santos.
In recent weeks, several Angolan media outfits have accused Isabel dos Santos of ordering suspect transfers and payments worth tens of millions of dollars. Isabel has flatly denied any misconduct.
“We have established an internal commission of inquiry to investigate the information published,” Sonangol spokesman Mateus Benza said on Tuesday. “We are verifying possible misappropriation, but I can’t yet confirm anything.”
According to the Novo Jornal and the Jornal Economico, the new leadership at Sonangol had identified a suspect transfer of 57 million euros ($67 million) to Dubai.
Investigators are also probing a monthly payment that began when Isabel became the head of the state oil giant of 10 million euros to a Portuguese company in which she was the principal investor. It was reported that the new head of Sonangol has written to his predecessor to demand explanations as well as alerting law enforcement agencies.
Prosecutors in the capital Luanda told AFP on Tuesday evening that they had not received a formal complaint. Isabel has flatly denied any misconduct and instead alleged that there is a ‘campaign of defamation’ going on against her.