Angolan oil giant’s ex-boss denies graft claims
Publish date: 08 March 2018
Issue Number: 601
Diary: Legalbrief Forensic
Angolan businesswoman Isabel dos Santos, daughter of former President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, this week denied claims that she presided over corruption when she ran state oil giant Sonangol. Prosecutors opened an investigation last week into possible graft at Sonangol and will probe ‘irregular financial transfers’ reported by the company’s new management. A report on The Citizen site quotes Isabel as saying: ‘I can only share my total indignation at the serious accusations and innuendoes made against me.’ Sonangol’s new chief executive Carlos Saturnino angrily criticised the financial management of his predecessor during a results briefing last week, alleging that $38m had been suspiciously transferred to a company in Dubai. The report notes that in an interview with Portuguese newspaper Jornal de Negocios, Isabel dos Santos accused Sonangol’s new chief executive of being ‘a liar’ and making ‘shocking’ statements. She accused her successor of a crusade encouraged by opposition parties with the goal of ‘sullying her name’ as part of a ‘major political campaign targeting the previous government’.
Angolan prosecutors have opened an investigation into possible corruption at the state oil giant. Investigators would probe ‘irregular financial transfers’ reported by Sonangol's new management, prosecutors said in a statement. A report on the News24 site notes Isabel, appointed in June 2016, was removed from the job in November last year by President Joao Lourenco who has reversed several of his predecessor's appointments. Sonangol announced last December that it had opened an internal inquiry after discovering suspicious financial transfers with a value of tens of millions of dollars.