Africa’s richest woman not aware of arrest warrant

Lawyers representing Isabel dos Santos – the daughter of the former president of Angola – have said they were not aware of any arrest warrant issued against her by Interpol.

She has been accused of embezzlement and money laundering during her  time as the head of the national oil company, and has denied any wrongdoing. Her Angolan assets have been frozen.

On Friday, the Portuguese press reported that an international warrant had been issued following a request by the Angolan prosecutor’s office.

They reported that the warrant said Isabel dos Santos was often in Portugal, the UK and the United Arab Emirates. Interpol has not issued a public statement.

Leaked documents revealed how Africa’s richest woman made her fortune through exploiting her own country, and corruption.

Isabel dos Santos got access to lucrative deals involving land, oil, diamonds and telecoms when her father was president of Angola, a southern African country rich in natural resources.

The documents showed how she and her husband were allowed to buy valuable state assets in a series of suspicious deals.

Ms Dos Santos has said the allegations against her were entirely false and that there was a politically motivated witch-hunt by the Angolan government.

The former president’s daughter has made the UK her home and owns expensive properties in central London.

She is already under criminal investigation by the authorities in Angola for corruption and her assets in the country have been frozen.

Now, BBC Panorama has been given access to more than 700,000 leaked documents about the billionaire’s business empire.

Most were obtained by the Platform to Protect Whistle-blowers in Africa and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

They’ve been investigated by 37 media organisations including the Guardian and Portugal’s Expresso newspaper.

Andrew Feinstein, the head of Corruption Watch, said the documents showed how Ms Dos Santos exploited her country at the expense of ordinary Angolans.

“Every time she appears on the cover of some glossy magazine somewhere in the world, every time that she hosts one of her glamorous parties in the south of France, she is doing so by trampling on the aspirations of the citizens of Angola.” -BBC

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