Africa’s Richest Woman Snubs State Prosecutors

CAP D’ANTIBES, FRANCE – MAY 17: Isabel dos Santos (L) and Sindika Dokolo arrive at the amfAR Gala Cannes 2018 at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 17, 2018 in Cap d’Antibes, France. (Photo by Dave Benett/amfAR/Dave Benett/WireImage for amfAR)

Africa’s richest woman Isabel dos Santos has failed to respond to her summons from state prosecutors to answer questions about alleged financial impropriety during her time as chairperson of Sonangol, the state oil company

According to a report by the Angolan state news agency Angop, dos Santos is allowed to provide reasons for not appearing three times, after which she could be arrested.

In January, Sonangol’s current chairman Carlos Saturnino alleged that an internal audit had revealed a series of dubious financial transactions during dos Santos’ time at the helm, including a $38 million transfer to a company in Dubai shortly after she was officially dismissed from the oil company. Dos Santos has denied any impropriety and has accused Saturnino of trying “to rewrite history.”

Ever since President Joao Lourenço took office in September, dos Santos, who accumulated a multi-billion dollar fortune by leveraging on her father’s influence to acquire stakes in flourishing Angolan companies for pennies on the dollar, has seen a reversal of fortune. She was relieved of her position at Sonangol shortly after Lourenço came into power. Then in March this year, Diamond exploration licenses previously owned by companies linked to her were revoked. She has also been removed from each of the lucrative contracts or positions awarded by her father such as construction awards for the Caculo-Cabaça hydroelectric dam and Corimba Coast Road among other key ventures.

Isabel dos Santos is still Africa’s richest woman with a fortune FORBES estimates at $2.5 billion.

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