Following the request of the Angolan prosecutors, the international police organization Interpol, on November 18, 2022, issued an arrest warrant against the once wealthiest woman in Africa, Isabel Dos Santos. According to Portugal’s press Lusa news agency, the arrest warrant was issued against the one-time Angolan billionaire due to the corruption allegations against her and exposed in ICIJ’s Luanda Leaks investigation.
The arrest warrant, according to the source of the Polícia Judiciária in Lisbon, claims that the ex-billionaire started her financial corruption mechanisms between 2015 and 2017. It was used to obtain financial gains and whitewash suspicious criminal operations. It also claims that she used her then position as head of Angola’s state oil and country’s resources to enrich herself.
Her involvement in numerous illegal activities made her a wanted person for alleged embezzlement, fraud, influence peddling and money laundering by the Angolan government since 2018. According to the African country’s government, her past corruption might have been responsible for the country’s recession.
The following year, Luanda Provincial Court, the Judiciary of Angola, froze her account and seized some of her stakes in local companies. Since then, the country has been in a legal battle against the former Angolan billionaire. Due to the numerous allegations against her, the United States State Department barred her and her immediate family from entering the country.
Allegations about the once richest woman in Africa
According to the Luanda Leaks in 2020 by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), Isabel Dos Santos, the daughter of Angola’s former president José Eduardo dos Santos, amassed her wealth through insider deals, political connections and an army of Western enablers.
The document exposes how the former head of Angola’s state oil company and her corrupt partners profited from lucrative deals in oil, diamonds, telecommunications, banking and real estate.
ICIJ’s Luanda Leaks contains 715 000 documents, including emails, charts, contracts, audits, and accounts. They all help understand how the former billionaire built a $2 billion business empire. ICIJ’s FinCEN files also featured her business dealings in their investigation.
In 2021, the ICIJ’s Pandora Papers also revealed that Dos Santos and some powerful Angolans had embezzled billions of dollars into financial hideaways. According to her representatives, despite the arrest warrant issued by Interpol, Isabel dos Santos is still unaware of it.
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