The New York-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) on Sunday released a large number of files that show how Isabel dos Santos, who has been dubbed as Africa's richest woman, syphoned hundreds of millions of dollars of public money into personal offshore accounts.
Isabel Dos Santos is the daughter of former Angola president Jose Eduardo Dos Santos. Angolan prosecutors froze all bank accounts and assets of the 46-year-old businesswoman and her Congolese husband Sindika Dokolo last month. Santos has called this action a groundless political vendetta.
The ICIJ wrote that it has revealed 715,000 files and that their investigation highlights a broken international regulatory system which allowed professional service firms to serve the powerful with no consequences. The ICIJ further stated that its 120 reporters across 20 countries were able to trace an 'army of Western financial firms' consisting of lawyers, accountants, government officials and management companies helped dos Santos hide their true assets from tax authorities.
ICIJ report: This is perpetrated by political agenda to neutralize Isabel dos Santos. “Information” leaked by angolan intelligence services was used to manipulate ICIJ, and to further Angolan Authorities political agenda. Already:ICIJ Panama papers were disproved in UK High Court— Isabel Dos Santos (@isabelaangola) January 19, 2020
Dos Santos has reportedly refuted all the allegations levelled against her and dubbed them 'lies'. She also said that her fortune was due to her character, intelligence, education, capacity for work, and perseverance. Dos Santos's lawyers have claimed that all this is an attempt that has been orchestrated by Angola's current rulers to undermine Dos Santos. Dos Santos's net wealth is estimated to be roughly $2.2 billion according to reports.
ICIJ has stated that western firms such as PwC and Boston Consulting Group are actively ignoring red flags in order to help dos Santos stash away public assets. The leaked files allegedly contained letters that showed how consultants sought out ways to open non-transparent bank accounts. None of the companies that were named in the leaks have come forward to issue statements.