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Angola Top Court Orders Santos' Assets Seized


FILE - Isabel Dos Santos, daughter of Angola’s former president and Africa's richest woman, sits for a portrait during a Reuters interview in London, Britain, Jan. 9, 2020.

Angola's Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the seizure of assets worth roughly $1 billion held by Isabel dos Santos, daughter of former President José Eduardo dos Santos, Lusa news agency said Tuesday.

The Portuguese news agency cited court documents dated Dec. 19 in which authorities said they had evidence of alleged embezzlement and money laundering, hence the order to seize monies dos Santos holds in "all banking institutions."

The report said the seizure also includes all of dos Santos' shares in Angolan company Embalvidro, 100% of shares in Cape Verde's telecom company Unitel T+, as well as Unitel STP in Sao Tome and Principe.

A total of 70% of Santos' shares in Mozambique's telecom MStar and Upstar Comunicacoes would also be seized, Lusa said.

Dos Santos, 49, has for years faced corruption allegations. In 2019, the southern African nation's Supreme Court ordered the seizure of her assets for allegedly diverting state funds to companies in which she held stakes during her father's presidency, including state-run oil giant Sonangol.

Dos Santos's father, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, died in July. He ruled Angola for almost four decades from 1979 - 2017.

A spokesperson for dos Santos did not immediately respond to a request for comment according to Lusa.

Santos has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. In November, she told CNN Portugal that the courts in Angola were "not independent," adding that judges there were "used to fulfill a political agenda."

"There is no doubt that we are in a context of political persecution," she said.

The latest order follows a red notice issued by global police agency Interpol last month, asking global law enforcement authorities to locate and provisionally arrest her.

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