LUANDA. – Angola’s chief prosecutor last Friday said funds that Isabel dos Santos, who is accused of stealing millions of dollars from state companies, invested in Portugal had been embezzled from her home country.
“Angola believes that the money used for business conducted by Isabel dos Santos in Portugal left Angola by illicit means,” Helder Pitta Gros told the RTP television station on a trip to Lisbon.
The accusation came a day after the tycoon daughter of Angola’s ex-president Jose Eduardo dos Santos vowed she would fight what she called “misleading and untrue” allegations which have stretched across Angola’s state oil and diamond industries and banks to Lisbon.
Angolan prosecutors accuse Dos Santos of financial crimes during her tenure at Sonangol, Angola’s state-owned oil giant which she headed during her father’s rule, and charged her with money laundering, influence peddling, harmful management, forgery of documents and more.
Much of the allegedly misappropriated money was invested in Portugal, prosecutors believe.
Gros said this week that Dos Santos was among five named suspects, all of them residing abroad.
Angolans call her “the princess”, and she is Africa’s richest woman according to Forbes, which estimates her assets at US$2.1 billion.
Hundreds of companies, many based in tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands, are alleged to have helped Dos Santos accrue her fortune.
The mounting scandal has prompted scrutiny in Portugal and some of its corporations, especially the small lender EuroBic. — AFP.