Lisbon freezes bank accounts of Angolan billionaire Isabel dos Santos
Portugal has ordered a freeze on bank accounts held in the country by Angolan billionaire Isabel dos Santos, who is accused of stealing state funds to build a colossal business empire.
“The public prosecutors have ordered a freeze on the bank accounts following a request by Angolan authorities,” a spokesperson for Portuguese public prosecutors told AFP.
International media outlets published an inquiry dubbed “Luanda Leaks” on January 19 claiming that Dos Santos, daughter of former president José Eduardo dos Santos, fraudulently accumulated a fortune estimated at R30bn.
She has denied the “unfounded allegations and false claims” and said she has taken steps “to act legally” against the outlets that published them.
Dos Santos, 46, has been living in Europe since President Joao Lourenco fired her as head of the state oil company Sonangol in 2017, soon after he took over from her father.
She has been indicted by Angolan prosecutors for a host of top-level financial crimes, including money laundering and forging documents.
Angola's prosecutor-general Helder Pitta Gros visited Portugal, the country's former colonial master, in January to seek the help of Portuguese authorities over the case.
Dos Santos and her associates have huge stakes in several Portuguese firms as well as bank accounts.