Angola may ask Portugal to seize dos Santos’ assets, says prosecutor

Isabel dos Santos
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Angola may ask Portuguese authorities to seize assets belonging to Isabel dos Santos, billionaire daughter of a former Angolan President, who is a suspect in a fraud investigation, Angola’s attorney general said on Friday.

Angola named dos Santos a formal suspect over allegations of mismanagement and misappropriation of funds during her time as chairperson of state oil company Sonangol, while Portugal’s market watchdog has opened inquiries into various firms in which she holds stakes.

Dos Santos, eldest child of former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, has denied any wrongdoing.

In a statement to Reuters on Thursday she said she “always operated within the law and all my commercial transactions have been approved by lawyers, banks, auditors and regulators”.

The attorney generals of Portugal and Angola, Lucilia Gago and Helder Pitta Groz, met in Lisbon on Thursday to discuss, among other things, how both countries could collaborate on the dos Santos’ case, Pitta Groz told Portuguese broadcaster RTP during a television interview.

Asked by RTP if Angola could ask Portugal to seize dos Santos’ assets, namely her shares in Portuguese companies and Portuguese bank accounts, Pitta Groz said: “It could happen … It could happen.”

“I will not say this is a reality now but when teams start working they could reach that conclusion,” he said.