Angola’s former first daughter Isabel dos Santos, dubbed as Africa’s richest woman, has been charged with money laundering after leaked documents alleged that she plundered state funds and transferred it abroad. The recent development comes after International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) published a report based on Luanda Leaks.
A trove of emails, charts, contracts, audits and accounts were collected under the Luanda Leaks project, which was later obtained by the anti-corruption advocacy group Platform to Protect Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF). The documents were reviewed and attorney general, Heldér Pitta Grós, in a press conference, alleged that Isabel dos Santos was involved in misappropriation of funds during her term as chairperson of Sonangol, the state oil company. Grós announced at the conference that dos Santos has been charged with the crimes of money laundering, influence peddling, harmful management, forgery of documents, among other economic crimes.
The investigative report by ICIJ claimed that it has exposed two decades of ‘unscrupulous deal’ that made dos Santos Africa’s wealthiest woman. It also alleged that thousands of families were forcibly evicted from their Luanda homes on land that was part of a redevelopment project involving a dos Santos company. Isabel dos Santos, in series of social media posts, lashed out at ICIJ and its investigative partners, including BBC and The Guardian, saying they presented a “misleading picture”.
ICIJ, BBC and Guardian lied showing a misleading picture of the Marginal Corimba Project. There were NO EVICTIONS done by our companies. This is the real image that ICIJ did not want you to see: Marginal is a costal road in the water, it’s a land reclamation project. pic.twitter.com/j3coPClJuj— Isabel Dos Santos (@isabelaangola) January 21, 2020
The billionaire said that there is a great lack of knowledge of the processes and procedures in Angola which leads to assumptions that there are no laws and processes in the African nation. "No one goes to Sonangol at the hardest moment in Sonangol's life unless they have a sense of mission, a sense that they can help to contribute and make a difference," she wrote in an Instagram post.