Angola’s Richest Woman Banned from U.S. over Corruption Charges

Isabel dos Santos heads to court to sue 'Luanda Leaks' journalists

The US will deny entry to Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of Angola’s former president, José Eduardo dos Santos, for her “involvement in significant corruption,” the US Department of State has said.

Dos Santos once said to be Africa’s richest woman, appears on a list released by the State Department of people accused of corruption and who are facing sanctions.

Jose father to the 48-year-old left office in 2017; however while he was president, she was chair of the state oil company, Sonangol Group.

Dos Santos, according to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, misappropriated public funds for her personal benefit.

He didn’t elaborate on what Dos Santos is accused of doing in his statement.

According to the State Department, Dos Santos and her immediate family members will be unable to enter the United States.

There have been no financial sanctions against her.

Dos Santos was ranked the richest woman in Africa by Forbes in 2013 with an estimated net worth of $3.5 billion (£2.6 billion). Her name was dropped from Forbes’ list in 2020, with Forbes estimating that $1.6bn in assets are frozen in Angola and Portugal.

It was still estimated that Ms Dos Santos was worth over $2bn in January 2020. Her luxury apartments in London and Lisbon have been linked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, as well as a $35m yacht purchased through a shell company.

A report last year revealed that she had allegedly exploited her own country and benefited from corruption to make her fortune.

When her father was president, she had access to lucrative deals involving land, oil, diamonds, and telecoms.

The documents revealed how her husband and she bought valuable state assets through a series of suspicious deals.

As of that time, Dos Santos claimed that the allegations against her were all false and that the government of Angola was engaging in a politically motivated witch hunt against her.

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