An investigation by the BBC program Panorama has found that Africa’s richest woman, Isabel dos Santos, ‘stole’ most of her money from the people of Angola.
Isabel is the daughter of Angola’s former President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled the country for 38 years.
According to leaked documents obtained by the BBC, the former first daughter amassed her wealth through corrupt deals with state oil and diamond companies which she ran whilst her father was in office.
One of the most egregious deals involved her purchase of a stake in the Portuguese energy comapny Galp from the state run oil company Sonangol.
According to the BBC: “[she] only had to pay 15% of the price upfront and that the remaining €63m ($70m) was turned into a low-interest loan from Sonangol.
“Under the generous terms of the loan, her debt to the Angolan people didn’t have to be repaid for 11 years.”
By 2017, her company offered to pay back the debt but by then she was also in charge of Sonnagol thus Galp paid back a lesser amount than was owed.
Her stake in Galp is now worth more than €750m.
Even her husband, a Congolese businessman named Sindika Dokolo, got in on the looting.
As the BBC writes of another crazy deal: “Ms Dos Santos’s husband, Sindika Dokolo, signed a one-sided agreement in 2012 with Angolan state diamond company Sodiam.
“They were supposed to be 50-50 partners in a deal to buy a stake in the Swiss luxury jeweller De Grisogono.
“But it was funded by the state company. The documents show that 18 months after the deal, Sodiam had put $79m into the partnership, while Mr Dokolo had only invested $4m. Sodiam also awarded him a €5m success fee for brokering the deal, so he didn’t have to use any of his own money.”
There are more of such deals which only enriched Isabel at the expense of Angolans in the more than 700,000 leaked documents BBC obtained.
Isabel dos Santos is currently under investigation in Angola and her assets in the country have been frozen. but she remains in the U.K.
She claims the allegations against her are politically motivated in the wake of her father losing his grip on power.