Angola’s Isabel Dos Santos Dragged into $400 Million London Lawsuit

Angola's Isabel Dos Santos Dragged into $400 Million London Lawsuit (News Central TV)

A $400 million London lawsuit filed by Angolan telecoms company Unitel threatens to involve wealthy Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of the nation’s former president.

In 2020, Unitel filed a lawsuit against dos Santos’ Dutch company Unitel International Holdings (UIH) for loans made to finance UIH’s purchase of telecom company shares.

According to Unitel’s attorneys, the loans were not repaid, and there is still a balance of almost $395 million plus interest.

In its lawsuit against UIH, Unitel is requesting to personally add dos Santos, the first female billionaire in Africa whose father Jose Eduardo dos Santos ruled Angola for 38 years prior to 2017.

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The business asserts that dos Santos violated her obligations to Unitel by failing to take the necessary procedures to guarantee that UIH returned the loans while she was a director of Unitel at the time the loans to UIH were made.

Unitel is allegedly involved in the “illegal seizure by the Angolan state of UIH’s assets,” according to dos Santos’ attorneys, which is why UIH is unable to pay. Unitel disputes the charge.

Isabel Dos Santos has long been the target of charges of corruption, including those made by Angola that she and her husband diverted $1 billion in public funds to businesses in which they had stakes while her father was president, notably Sonangol, the world’s largest oil company.

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Her Angolan assets worth almost $1 billion were seized last year, and other properties connected to her have been taken in Portugal.

In November, the international police organisation Interpol issued a warrant for dos Santos’ arrest on a foreign soil.

Dos Santos, who says she lives in Dubai, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and her lawyers said on Tuesday that the allegations against her are part of a “political conspiracy”.

She “vehemently denies that she has breached any of her director’s duties,” her lawyer Richard Hill said in court filings.

Judge Mark Pelling is expected to rule on Unitel’s application to add dos Santos to the case at a later date.

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