Portugal blocks Africa’s richest woman, Isabel dos Santos’ bank accounts

Africa’s richest woman, Isabel dos Santos, seems to be in more trouble as dozens of her personal and corporate accounts have been frozen by Portugal.

The clampdown on Dos Santos accounts and Sindika  Dokolo, her husband, is related to former’s face-off against the Angolan government, which instigated court action against her.

“We confirm that the public prosecution service requested the seizure of bank accounts, as part of the request for international judicial cooperation from the Angolan authorities,” the Portuguese prosecutor’s office told news agency Lusa.

Why was the decision taken? Dos Santos, who is worth $2.2 billion, has been linked to a corruption case involving misappropriation of funds from the state oil company, Sonangol. She is the daughter of the former Angolan president, José Eduardo dos Santos.

When corruption charges are filed against an individual, the person’s account(s) is usually flagged and blocked from conducting further transactions. So, with Dos Santos being identified as a suspect in a criminal investigation, such request was expected.

Although dos Santos denied the charges against her, she reportedly authorised the transfer of consultancy fees estimated at about $115 million during her time as the chair of Sonangol – a position she got from her father during his 38-year term as president. But Dos Santos said the claim was “extremely misleading and untrue”.

How did the embezzlement affect Angola? According to a report by The Guardian, Angola lost about $1 billion in a deal Dos Santos and her husband pulled with state-owned businesses in the diamond and oil sectors.

Nairamterics had previously reported that dos Santos allegedly worked with four other accomplices to embezzle public funds from Sonangol. The embezzled funds reportedly helped her to amass her $2.1 billion fortune. She worked in the oil company for about a year and a half after the controversial appointment by her father in 2016.

Assets controlled by Isabel Dos Santos: Some assets controlled by Dos Santos and her Husband includes, banking, diamonds, oil, telecoms, property, engineering and supermarkets in Angola and Portugal. Also, on the list are some homes in London.

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