Isabel dos Santos has become the richest woman in Africa at the expense of the Angolan people according to a survey. She is accused of having diverted more than a billion of public funds during the reign of her father, by appropriating a whole section of the Angolan economy.
A team of award-winning investigators released files on Sunday that show how Isabel dos Santos siphoned hundreds of millions of dollars of public money into offshore accounts.
The New York-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICJI) investigated with newspapers such as the Suddeutsche Zeitung in Munich to reveal the opaque financial packages put in place by the daughter of the former Angolan president to to grab the money from public companies in his country.
The revelations of “Luanda Leaks” focus on Isabel dos Santos and the sources of her fortune. “Based on more than 715,000 records, our investigation highlights an international regulatory system that allows professional services companies to serve the powerful without asking questions,” wrote the ICJI.
The group says its team of 120 journalists in 20 countries was able to trace “how Western financial companies, lawyers, accountants, civil servants and management companies helped dos Santos and her Congolese husband Sindika Dokolo to hide assets from tax authorities. “
On twitter, Isabel dos Santos has dismissed the charges against her. “My fortune is built on my character, my intelligence, my education, my work capacity, my perseverance,” she wrote.
She also lambasted “racism and prejudice” of SIC-Expresso, a Portuguese television and newspaper, and a member of the ICJI. “It reminds us of the colonial era when an African could never be considered as equal to a European. “
Dos Santos’ lawyer also dismissed the ICJI findings, saying that “this is a highly coordinated attack orchestrated by the current leaders of Angola. “
Angolan prosecutors last month froze bank accounts and assets belonging to the 46-year-old businesswoman and her husband.
The former president’s daughter headed the Angolan national oil company Sonangol. After her father left, she was sacked by Joao Lourenco, the current president.