African Thieves Steal From Africa Then Deny Being African....

On Jan. 9, the Russian state-owned news agency TASS reported that Isabel dos Santos – the daughter of Angola’s former president José Eduardo dos Santos once ranked by Forbes magazine as Africa’s richest woman – is a citizen of Russia.
Isabel dos Santos’s ties to Russia have been the subject of journalistic investigations for nearly a decade. But the issue heated up more recently with corruption allegations made by the Angolan government against dos Santos, her husband, and another businessman. She has been living outside Angola for several years; in December, an Angolan court froze her assets.
Reuters cited a court document alleging that dos Santos and the others were responsible for more than $1 billion in losses to the state. Dos Santos and an associate were accused of attempting to transfer 10 million euros to Russia.

Mariah Carey with Isabel dos Santos, José Eduardo dos Santos and Ana Paula dos Santos

Portuguese news outlets including the Jornal Económico and Expresso reported this month that dos Santos did business with the Russian state oil giant Rosneft in several countries, including Mozambique, Iraq, and Turkey. She also owns a 25 percent stake in Nafta, an oil and gas company in Azerbaijan.
The ability to claim Russian citizenship could prove important to dos Santos in order to protect her foreign assets from being seized by the Angolan government. Russia protects its citizens and assets from foreign or international prosecution under Article 61 of its constitution.
Dos Santos claims the corruption accusations against her are false and “politically motivated,” and she called the media investigations “fake.” The corruption case was brought under the administration of Angolan President João Lourenço, elected in 2017 to replace dos Santos’ father, José Eduardo dos Santos, who had ruled since 1979.
Jornal Económico reported that Isabel dos Santos “became a Russian citizen Isabel Dosovna Kukanova,” in a process directed by President Vladimir Putin.
Expresso reported that her Portuguese lawyer, Jorge Brito Pereira, last October and November filed changes to the shareholder registry data for two Maltese companies affiliated with dos Santos and her husband. The changes include the couple’s new business address in Dubai and a new country of nationality for Isabel dos Santos –– Russia.
“I am Russian by birth,” TASS quoted her as saying. Asked whether she received or restored Russian citizenship in 2013, she told TASS: “I did not restore my citizenship, I always kept it.” The news agency said she is in exile in Dubai and “not planning on returning to Angola.”
Russia’s Foreign Ministry did not respond to a inquiry about dos Santos’ citizenship.
A review of Russia’s citizenship law raises new questions about Dos Santos’ status.
Initially adopted in 1992 after the Soviet Union collapsed, the law was overhauled and signed by Putin in 2002. Under the law, persons born in former Soviet republics other than Russia – like Azerbaijan – do not automatically inherit Russian citizenship from a Russian parent. Instead, they must apply to restore citizenship – a process that can be both expensive and time consuming.
[SIZE=5]Blood Ties[/SIZE]
Isabel dos Santos was born in 1973, in what was then the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. Her parents attended college in Baku, the capital. Her father, José Eduardo dos Santos, is Angolan, and her mother, Tatiana Kukanova, is a Russian from the provincial city of Penza. The couple moved with their baby daughter to Angola, where José Eduardo dos Santos became Angola’s president. By the age of six, Isabel was “a princess” in the presidential palace, according to Forbes.
Kukanova divorced José Eduardo dos Santos and reportedly moved to London with Isabel, but details are scarce. Multiple Russian sources claim Kukanova did not retain permanent residence in Russia after moving to London.
Kukanova has no public social media accounts and only appeared once in her daughter’s Facebook posts – on Christmas, Dec. 25, 2018.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) reported in 2002 and 2015 that Isabel dos Santos was a shareholder in Ascorp, “the Angolan diamond monopoly controlled by Russian-Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev, who is a close friend of Vladimir Putin.” The report said her mother’s name was linked to accounts at HSBC that held as much as $4.5 million in 2006-2007, the ICIJ said.
On Aug. 13, 2019, the Times of London reported that Isabel dos Santos had purchased a mansion worth 13 million pounds (about $17 million) in a London neighborhood the paper described as “one of Britain’s most secretive gated communities.”
[SIZE=5]The Citizenship Law[/SIZE]
Russia’s citizenship law, Article 12, states that “a child acquires Russian Federation citizenship by birth, if, on the day of the child’s birth,” one of the child’s parents “has Russian Federation citizenship, and the other parent is a foreign citizen, provided that the child was born on the territory of the Russian Federation.”
The law has special requirements for those born in areas like Soviet Azerbaijan that were outside the territory of the former Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR), which was the largest Soviet republic and is now the Russian Federation.
According to Article 13 of the citizenship law, anyone holding foreign citizenship who had Soviet citizenship by birth but was not born in the RSFSR must reapply for Russian citizenship. In addition, they must live in Russia for at least three years. That would appear to apply to Isabel dos Santos’ circumstances.
Articles 28 and 29 of the citizenship law, however, give the Russian president sweeping authority to decide granting or restoring Russian citizenship.
A vivid example of how Russia’s citizenship law is applied in regular, non-high-profile cases involves the Meskhetian Turks, who were deported by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin from their homes in Georgia and Azerbaijan to Central Asia during World War II. Thousands of Meskhetian Turks returned to Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union but have been deprived of citizenship. In 2004, the U.S. granted humanitarian asylum to Russia’s Meskhetian Turks, resettling some 10,000 in Arizona, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
Several Russian lawyers who specialize in citizenship restoration confirmed that dos Santos would be required to reapply for her citizenship.
Radio Echo Moskvy, one of the country’s most popular news outlets, questioned dos Santos’ status in a report this month: “If Isabel dos Santos had our passport before, it was only a Soviet one. After the collapse of the country, she had to exchange it for a Russian one.”
[SIZE=5]Embrace of Russia[/SIZE]
In 2013, Forbes magazine, known for its annual lists of the world’s richest people, reported that dos Santos, then 40, was Africa’s youngest and only female billionaire. Forbes’ latest estimate puts her worth at $2.1 billion.
Dos Santos visited Russia last October to participate in the Russia-Africa Economic Summit in Sochi.
In a Facebook post from the summit, dos Santos said: “As passionate about my country and continent, I feel it is my duty to be at the forefront of the new era and reality of the world economy, defending our place …”
The accusations against Isabel dos Santos in Angola are part of a wider anti-corruption drive under President Lourenço. He dismissed a number of government officials, removed Isabel dos Santos as head of Sonangol, the state oil company, and canceled state contracts with businesses connected to the dos Santos family.
However, some observers question Lourenço’s anti-corruption drive, noting that he has specifically targeted the former president’s family while leaving others suspected of large-scale corruption untouched.
In a recent interview with VOA, Isabel dos Santos criticized the Angolan government.
“In a country that I believe should have the rule of law, like Angola, I’m very concerned for the future,” she said. “I’m very concerned that these kinds of measures are going to be just arbitrarily put on someone from the private sector. Then it could be me today but it could be anyone else tomorrow.”
Reuters reported Thursday that dos Santos had expressed in running for the Angolan presidency in 2022. “It’s possible,” she told the news agency.

Leaked documents reveal how Africa’s richest woman made her fortune through exploiting her own country, and corruption.

Isabel dos Santos got access to lucrative deals involving land, oil, diamonds and telecoms when her father was president of Angola, a southern African country rich in natural resources.

Thirty per cent of Angolans live in poverty on less than $2 a day

The documents show how she and her husband were allowed to buy valuable state assets in a series of suspicious deals.

Ms Dos Santos says the allegations against her are entirely false and that there is a politically motivated witch-hunt by the Angolan government.


The former president’s daughter has made the UK her home and owns expensive properties in central London.

She is already under criminal investigation by the authorities in Angola for corruption and her assets in the country have been frozen.

Now BBC Panorama has been given access to more than 700,000 leaked documents about the billionaire’s business empire.

Most were obtained by the Platform to Protect Whistle-blowers in Africa and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

They’ve been investigated by 37 media organisations including The Guardian and Portugal’s Expresso newspaper.

Andrew Feinstein, the head of Corruption Watch, says the documents show how Ms Dos Santos exploited her country at the expense of ordinary Angolans.

“Every time she appears on the cover of some glossy magazine somewhere in the world, every time that she hosts one of her glamorous parties in the south of France, she is doing so by trampling on the aspirations of the citizens of Angola.”

The ICIJ have called the documents The Luanda Leaks.


[SIZE=6]The oil connection[/SIZE]
One of the most suspicious deals was run from London through a UK subsidiary of the Angolan state oil company Sonangol.

Ms Dos Santos had been put in charge of the struggling Sonangol in 2016, thanks to a presidential decree from her father Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who kept a tight grip on his country for the 38 years he was in power.

But when he retired as president in September 2017 her position was soon under threat, even though his hand-picked successor came from the same party. Ms Dos Santos was sacked two months later.

Many Angolans have been surprised at the way that President Joao Lourenço has gone after the business interests of his predecessor’s family.

Angola in numbers
[li]29 million population[/li][li]27-year civil war, fought from independence to 2002[/li][li]$4,170 average income, but this masks big disparities[/li][li]30%of population live in poverty - less than $1.90/day[/li][li]2nd biggest oil producer in Africa. Also major diamond producer[/li][/ul]
Source: World Bank, OPEC

The leaked documents show that as she left Sonangol, Ms Dos Santos approved $58m of suspicious payments to a consultancy company in Dubai called Matter Business Solutions.

She says she has no financial interest in Matter, but the leaked documents reveal it was run by her business manager and owned by a friend.

Panorama understands that Matter sent more than 50 invoices to Sonangol in London on the day that she was fired.

Ms Dos Santos appears to have approved payments to her friend’s company after she was sacked.

Although some consultancy work had been carried out by Matter, there’s very little detail on the invoices to justify such large bills.

One asks for €472,196 for unspecified expenses, another asks for $928,517 for unspecified legal services.

Two of the invoices - each for €676,339.97 - are for exactly the same work on the same date and Ms Dos Santos signed them both off anyway.
Image caption These are some of the invoices Isabel dos Santos signed off in her last week at Sonangol
Lawyers for Matter Business Solutions say it was brought in to help restructure the oil industry in Angola, and that the invoices were for work that had already been carried out by other consultancy companies it had hired.

“Regarding the invoices related with expenses, it is common for consultancy companies to add expenses to invoices as a general item. This is often due to those expenses involving large amounts of paperwork… Matter can produce documentary evidence to confirm all expenses incurred.”

Ms Dos Santos’s lawyers said her actions with regard to the Matter payments were entirely lawful and that she had not authorised payments after she had been dismissed from Sonangol.

They said: “All invoices paid were in relation to services contracted and agreed between the two parties, under a contract that was approved with the full knowledge and approval of the Sonangol Board of Directors.”

Media caption Isabel dos Santos: “I regret that Angola has chosen this path”

The ICIJ and Panorama have also uncovered new details about the business deals that made Ms Dos Santos rich.

Much of her fortune is based on her ownership of a stake in the Portuguese energy company Galp, which one of her companies bought from Sonangol in 2006.

The documents show it only had to pay 15% of the price upfront and that the remaining €63m ($70m) was turned into a low-interest loan from Sonangol.

Under the generous terms of the loan, her debt to the Angolan people didn’t have to be repaid for 11 years.

Her stake in Galp is now worth more than €750m.

Ms Dos Santos’s company did offer to repay the Sonangol loan in 2017.

The repayment offer should have been rejected because it didn’t include almost €9m of interest owing.

Image caption Bank orders signed by Isabel dos Santos transferred almost $58m out of the Angolan state oil company
But Ms Dos Santos was in charge of Sonangol at the time and she accepted the money as full payment of her own debt.

She was fired six days later and the payment was returned by the new Sonangol management.

Ms Dos Santos says she initiated the purchase of the stake in Galp, and that Sonangol made money from the deal as well.

“There’s absolutely no wrongdoing in any of those transactions. This investment is the investment that in history has generated the most benefit for the national oil company and all the contracts that were drafted are perfectly legal contracts, there are no wrongdoings.”

Her lawyers say the repayment offer in 2017 covered what Sonangol had indicated was owed.

[SIZE=6]The diamond connection[/SIZE]
It’s a similar story in the diamond industry.

Ms Dos Santos’s husband, Sindika Dokolo, signed a one-sided agreement in 2012 with Angolan state diamond company Sodiam.

They were supposed to be 50-50 partners in a deal to buy a stake in the Swiss luxury jeweller De Grisogono.

But it was funded by the state company. The documents show that 18 months after the deal, Sodiam had put $79m into the partnership, while Mr Dokolo had only invested $4m. Sodiam also awarded him a €5m success fee for brokering the deal, so he didn’t have to use any of his own money.

Image copyright Images Image caption Isabel dos Santos and her husband Sindika Dokolo can often be seen at film premieres and festivals with the world’s stars

The diamond deal gets even worse for the Angolan people.

The documents reveal how Sodiam borrowed all the cash from a private bank in which Ms Dos Santos is the biggest shareholder.

Sodiam has to pay 9% interest and the loan was guaranteed by a presidential decree from her father, so Ms Dos Santos’s bank cannot lose out.

Bravo da Rosa, the new chief executive of Sodiam, told Panorama that the Angolan people hadn’t got a single dollar back from the deal: “In the end, when we have finished paying back this loan, Sodiam will have lost more than $200m.”

The former president also gave Ms Dos Santos’s husband the right to buy some of Angola’s raw diamonds.

[SIZE=6]Who is Isabel dos Santos?[/SIZE][I]mage copyright IMAGES[/I]
[li]Eldest daughter of ex-President Jose Eduardo dos Santos[/li][li]Married to Congolese art collector and businessman Sindika Dokolo[/li][li]Educated in UK, where she currently lives[/li][li]Reported to be Africa’s richest woman, with a fortune of some $2bn[/li][li]Has stakes in oil and mobile phone companies and banks, mostly in Angola and Portugal[/li][/ul]
Source: Forbes magazine and others

Read more: Africa’s richest woman eyes Angolan presidency
The Angolan government says the diamonds were sold at a knockdown price and sources have told Panorama that almost $1bn may have been lost.

Ms Dos Santos told the BBC she couldn’t comment because she was not a shareholder of De Grisogono.

But the leaked documents show that she is described as a shareholder of De Grisogono by her own financial advisers.

Mr Dokolo did put in some money later. His lawyers say he invested $115m and that the takeover of De Grisogono was his idea. They say his company paid above the market rate for the raw diamonds.

[SIZE=6]The land connection[/SIZE]
The leaked documents also reveal how Ms Dos Santos bought land from the state in September 2017. Once again she only had to pay a small up-front fee.

Her company bought a square kilometre of prime beachfront land in the capital Luanda with the help of presidential decrees signed by her father.[I]Image caption Angolan state oil company Sonangol has a subsidiary in London where suspicious deals took place[/I]

The contract says the land was worth $96m, but the documents show her company paid only 5% of that after agreeing to invest the rest in the development.

Panorama traced some of the ordinary Angolans who were evicted to make way for the Futungo development.

Media caption Resident describes life next to an open sewer in Angola
They’ve been moved from the Luandan seafront to an isolated housing development 30 miles (50km) from the capital.

Teresa Vissapa lost her business to Ms Dos Santos’ development and is now struggling to bring up her seven children.

She said: “I only ask God to make her think a little more about our situation. Maybe she doesn’t even know it, but we are suffering.”

Ms Dos Santos declined to comment on the Futungo development.

But it was not the only land deal involving Ms Dos Santos that displaced the local population.

About 500 families were evicted from another stretch of the Luandan seafront after Isabel dos Santos got involved in another major redevelopment project.

The families are now living in desperate conditions next to an open sewer. Some of their shacks are flooded with sewage whenever the tide rises.

Ms Dos Santos says there weren’t any evictions linked to her project and that her companies were never paid because the development was cancelled.

[SIZE=6]The telecoms connection[/SIZE]
The billionaire has also made big profits from the telecoms industry in Angola.

She acquired a 25% stake in the country’s biggest mobile phone provider, Unitel. It was granted a telecoms licence by her father in 1999 and she bought her stake the following year from a high ranking government official.

Unitel has already paid her $1bn in dividends and her stake is worth another $1bn. But that’s not the only way she got cash from the private company.

She arranged for Unitel to lend €350m to a new company she set up, called Unitel International Holdings.
Image caption The leaked documents show Isabel dos Santos signed off on loans from Unitel as both the borrower and the lender
The company name was misleading because it wasn’t connected to Unitel and Ms Dos Santos was the owner.

The documents show Ms Dos Santos signed off on the loans as both lender and borrower, which is a blatant conflict of interest.

Ms Dos Santos denied that the loans were corrupt. She said: “This loan had both directors’ approval and shareholders’ approval, and it’s a loan that will generate, and has generated, benefit for Unitel.”

Her lawyers say the loans protected Unitel from currency fluctuations.

Most of the companies involved in the dodgy deals were overseen by accountants working for the financial services company, Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC). It’s made millions providing auditing, consultancy and tax advice to her companies.

But PWC has terminated its relationship with the billionaire and her family, after Panorama questioned the way the company had assisted Ms Dos Santos in the deals that had made her rich.

PWC says it is holding an inquiry into the “very serious and concerning allegations”.
Image caption Tom Keatinge, director of the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies, criticised PWC for giving the corruption a “veneer of respectability”
Tom Keatinge, director of the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies, told Panorama that PWC had given legitimacy to Ms Dos Santos and her companies.

"PWC, if not facilitating the corruption, are providing a veneer of respectability that makes what’s happening acceptable or more acceptable than it might otherwise be.

“So if I was at PWC I’d be conducting a pretty thorough audit of what decisions were made, and in hindsight actually: ‘Did we make the wrong decision to accept this business and should we have reported what we had been presented with?’”

PWC says it strives to maintain the highest professional standards and has set expectations for consistent ethical behaviour across its global network.

"In response to the very serious and concerning allegations that have been raised, we immediately initiated an investigation and are working to thoroughly evaluate the facts and conclude our inquiry.

“We will not hesitate to take appropriate actions to ensure that we always stand for the very highest standards of behaviour, wherever we operate in the world.”

Panorama: The Corrupt Billionaire is on BBC1 at 20:30 GMT on 20 January.

Eduardo Dos Santos goofed when he picked his successor