Africa’s Richest Woman Accused of Fraud and Corruption

Isabel dos Santos, Africa’s richest woman and daughter of Angola’s former President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, will be indicted for money laundering, forgery and influence peddling. Angola’s prosecutor general Helder Pitra Gros made a formal announcement at a news conference January 23rd of this year, stating the charges dos Santos will be facing. 

An investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, partly documented by PBS’s Frontline program, looked into how dos Santos built her empire and found she accumulated a majority of her wealth from her use of Angolan state funds. They released the Luanda Leaks, more than 700,000 documents laying out dos Santos financial activities.

Through her father, dos Santos was appointed to a high-level position at Sonangol, an Angolan state oil firm and Africa’s second largest oil producer, in 2016 and was fired within a year with claims of corruption. “Isabel dos Santos is accused of mismanagement and embezzlement of funds during her tenure at Sonangol,” said Prosecutor Gros at the news conference.

It’s alleged she used billions of dollars from Sonangol to fund her business ventures. She also accumulated her wealth through stakes in Angolan and Portuguese banks. According to Forbes, she is currently worth $2.1 billion. It was reported that the Angolan government will seek to extradite dos Santos back to Angola. She denies all accusations against her.


The charges announced against dos Santos made international news and these are some of the best articles on this story.  Click on the links below to read more on Isabel dos Santos and her economic crimes.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists release of The Luanda Leaks


The Guardian

TIME Magazine