Isabel dos Santos, Africa’s Richest Woman, Set to Face Embezzlement Charges in Angola

Isabel dos Santos, Africa’s Richest Woman, Set to Face Embezzlement Charges in Angola


EuroBic announced on Monday that it was ending its “commercial relationship” with Ms. dos Santos, and would be investigating transfers worth tens of millions of dollars.

Ms. dos Santos said in a statement on Thursday that the leaking of the documents, and their subsequent publication, stemmed from “a very concentrated, orchestrated and well-coordinated political attack, ahead of elections in Angola next year.”

“It is an attempt to neutralize me and to discredit the legacy of President dos Santos and his family,” she said. Her father, José Eduardo dos Santos, was president for 38 years until he stepped down in 2017.

As scrutiny of Ms. dos Santos increased in recent months, she turned to lawyers and public relations professionals to defend her record. In December, she hired a Washington lobbying firm, Sonoran Policy Group, to set up “meetings and interactions” in the United States and Britain, according to a disclosure the firm filed. That contract, as well as another one signed with the firm on Jan. 2 to work with the media on her behalf, total more than $2 million.

Sonoran, founded by the lobbyist Robert Stryk, leapt to prominence in the early days of the Trump presidency when it landed big contracts with foreign governments and leaders — including a Saudi ministry — eager for help navigating the administration, The Times reported in 2017.

Ms. dos Santos and several business associates, all Portuguese nationals, would face charges, Mr. Pitta Grós said, adding, “We have enough reasons to prosecute these people.”

“At this moment our concern is that they be notified of the charges brought against them, and that they present themselves voluntarily to the court in order for them to be able to defend themselves,” he said.



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