A Dutch company, linked to the wealthy former presidential daughter Isabel dos Santos, has to return hundreds of millions of dollars of shares to Angolan state oil company Sonangol. That‘s what an international arbitration court ruled.
This is the Dutch company Exem Energy, which, according to the International Corsortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), is owned by Dos Santos. The company would have embezzled money at the expense of Sanongol, which Dos Santos was in charge of earlier.
To be more precise, these are controversial transactions from 2006, where a package of shares was transferred from Sonangol to the Dutch mailbox firm.
According to the Dutch Arbitration Institute, which was commissioned by the International Arbitration Court, which assessed the case, that transaction was unlawful. Sonangol should therefore get the shares back, the arbitrators judge. Exem speaks of a political trial and claims to appeal the ruling.
The Exem case is certainly not the only accusation to Dos Santos. The “richest woman in Africa”, according to NGOs, has enriched herself in shadowy ways, partly thanks to her father’s presidency. In 2017, he resignated as head of state of Angola after 38 years; his successor fired Dos Santos as director of Sonangol.
Trouw described last year how former president José Eduardo dos Santos‘s daughter does business in oil, telecom and diamonds through Dutch letter companies. By keeping her ability to stay with other management offices, supervisors lost sight of her.
Angola has seized $1.1 billion in possessions of Dos Santos in its own country. The Public Prosecutor’s Office in the Netherlands also conducts criminal investigations into suspected corruption through the Dutch BVs.