A Portuguese hacker awaiting trial in Lisbon jail has claimed the responsibility of Luanda Leaks that accused Angola’s former first daughter Isabel dos Santos, dubbed as Africa’s richest woman, for fraud and money laundering. Isabel dos Santos was charged for money laundering 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 charity 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.
Hacker Rui Pinto’s lawyer and PPLAAF chief William Bourdon revealed that the author of Football leaks was behind it. “PPLAAF is pleased that once again a whistleblower is revealing to the world actions that go against international public interest,” said Bourdon in a statement.
“Like in the case of the Football Leaks, these revelations should allow for new investigations to be launched and thus help in the fight against impunity for financial crimes in Angola and in the world,” he added.
“The revelation that Mr. Pinto, a Portuguese citizen with no known ties to #Angola, was behind the leak of information about Ms. Dos Santos undercut her claims that the revelations were “a very concentrated, orchestrated and well-coordinated political attack””. #LuandaLeaks https://t.co/7qjIdLISY9— PPLAAF (@PPLAAF) January 27, 2020
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