Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of Angola’s last president, the first female billionaire in Africa and the eighth wealthiest businessperson on the continent according to Forbes, has become a citizen of Russia, TASS reports. Dos Santos herself confirmed the news indirectly on Twitter.
“It’s not news,” wrote dos Santos, who is facing corruption charges in her home country.
On December 31, the Luanda provincial court, at a request from the National Asset Recovery Service, seized dos Santos and her husband’s companies and personal accounts. The Angolan Public Prosecution Office claims that the state lost $1.36 billion through a scheme involving Isabel dos Santos.
The eldest daughter of the country’s former president is suspected of shady dealings with oil and diamonds, and of creating a number of companies which took loans from the government and did not repay them. The seized assets include shares in banks, telecommunications companies and oil companies.
Isabel dos Santos left Angola in November 2017 after she was fired from her position as head of Angola’s largest state oil company, Sonangol. She and her husband then moved to Dubai without any plans to return to Angola.
Her father, José Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled Angola for 37 years before handing the reins to his successor João Lourenço, left the country in order to undergo treatment in Western Europe. His eldest son, Filomeno dos Santos, did not leave the country in time, and is now facing corruption charges. He is accused of embezzling $1.5 billion during his tenure as the head of the Angolan Sovereign Wealth Fund, and of illegally withdrawing $500 million from the country.
The criminal case against Isabel was initiated in October. Around the same time, the billionaire visited Moscow and expressed a desire to invest in the Russian economy.
“In Russia there is dynamic growth in the IT sphere, technology, programming, and the development of artificial intelligence. I think that Russia has great potential,” she said.