Leaked documents showing the complex financial schemes that helped Africa’s richest woman amass a fortune through exploiting her own country have been revealed for the first time.
The documents, known as the Luanda Leaks, are based on a series of documents released from Isabel dos Santos' business empire. They show how she has defrauded the country over the years.
Ms dos Santos, who is known as “the princess” in Angola, has for almost four decades, denied that her estimated $2.2bn (£1.7bn) fortune is the result of nepotism or corruption.
The daughter of former Angolan president José Eduardo dos Santos, got access to lucrative deals involving land, oil, diamonds and telecoms when her father was still in office.
The documents show how she and her husband were allowed to buy valuable state assets in a series of suspicious deals.
One of the most mysterious and high-profile deals was run from London through a UK subsidiary of the Angolan state oil company Sonangol.
The leaked documents show that, on leaving Sonangol, dos Santos approved $58m of suspicious payments to a consultancy company in Dubai called Matter Business Solutions.
Dos Santos, who said she had no financial interest in Matter, approved payments to her friend's company after she was sacked from the oil firm the documents have revealed.
Although some consultancy work had been carried out by Matter, there's very little detail on the invoices to justify the large bills.
It is reported that one of the invoices was for €472,196, for unspecified expenses - another was for $928,517 for unspecified legal services.
Two of the invoices - each for €676,339.97 - are for similar requests on the same date and Ms dos Santos allegedly signed them both off.
Ms Dos Santos had been put in charge of the Sonangol in 2016, with the help of her father who was in power for 38 years before stepping down in 2017.
Ms dos Santos, who resides in the UK and owns several expensive properties in central London, says the allegations against her are entirely false and that there is a politically motivated witch-hunt by the Angolan government.
She is currently under criminal investigation by the authorities in Angola for corruption and her assets in the country have been frozen.
Associates who are distancing themselves On Monday a Portuguese bank part-owned by dos Santos announced that she and her associates had been banned as customers.
After being shut out by some of the world’s biggest banks, she had been relying increasingly on Eurobic, in which she holds a 42.5% stake, to move money.
The global chairman of PwC has also warned that a number of senior members could lose their jobs over links to dos Santos.
Bob Moritz, whose firm advised companies belonging to the multibillionaire and her husband across multiple jurisdictions, is reported to have said that he is shocked and disappointed by the recent revelations.
Moritz said a PwC investigation will determine whether any individuals at the partnership should lose leadership positions, have their bonuses docked or lose their jobs if they were involved in any cover ups or criminal activities. What are the Luanda Leaks?
The Luanda Leaks are an accumulation of 715,000 emails, charts, contracts, audits, and accounts that have helped uncover how dos Santos built a business empire worth an estimated $2bn.
The serial entrepreneur made her name, and fortune, through key roles and investments in some of Angola’s most important industries.
The documents offer details of how those holdings came about, including presidential decrees that she benefited from, and the formation of a network of offshore companies.
Eyeing the presidency There is speculation that dos Santos may run for the presidency in 2022.
While she has denied the possibility of running several times,stating she is not a politician, she has hinted at putting her hat in the race to become the country's president.
Ms Dos Santos told a Portuguese television channel recently that "it's possible" she might run for the presidency in 2022.
The announcement marks a dramatic shift for a woman who has consistently portrayed herself as an entrepreneur with no interest in politics and the outcome of the investigation will determine a number of things over the coming months.