Isabel dos Santos, the richest African woman, turned herself rich with Angolan public funds, invested them in Dubai with Sindika Dokolo and Mr. Konema Mwenenge, and left her country poor.
The investigative work of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and 36 media on Isabel dos Santos, Sindika Dokolo, and Mr. Konema Mwenenge lead to the exposure of various secret documents. Examples of such documents are shown below.
Isabel dos Santos got everything she needed during her father, Jose Eduardo dos Santos’ regime. Public contracts, tax breaks, telecom licenses, diamond mining rights, oil, etc. She was the richest woman in Africa, while Angola, the country with oil and diamond, was one of the poorest in the world.
But the story changed after the new government came to power. She became a suspect after inflating about $ 1 billion of the price of the contract she got from her father as usual. This triggered Joao Lourenço, the new president, to investigate their case.
ICIJ and 36 media collaborated to work on the new president’s course, and surprisingly, their discovery shocked the whole world. ICIJ and its collaborators could dig out about 715,000 confidential documents showing how she had looted Angolan funds to invest in Dubai with her husband and their business partner Mr. Mwenenge.
Dubai was their business base where Mr. Mwenenge handled their businesses, from oil to diamond, real estate, and more. Of course, they will need a bank to receive looted public funds in Dubai to invest and for their business transactions.
According to the ICIJ, above 400 businesses were under their control, and Mr. Mwenenge was the manager who ran the couple’s businesses between 2015 and 2017. While Sindika Dokolo, Mr. Mwenenge’s high school friend, would use his artworks and collections as a shield to cover his face as if he never had anything to do with the public fund and business in Dubai.
A huge amount of about $38 million was transferred from the Sonangol, Angola oil business to a company in Dubai which also made the government suspect them more. In reaction to this, the Angolan government had to write to the United Arab Emirate Financial Intelligence, controlled by their central bank, to freeze all businesses and personal accounts Dokolo, dos Santos, and Mr. Mwenenge possess.
Several electronic banks were under Mr. Mwenenge for the couple, and the United Arab Emirate was able to freeze their account. For the couple, Dokolo did not acknowledge that they were guilty. Or they have used the public funds to build their empire. According to a statement Dokolo made,
“Beyond the truth of the facts, some things you accuse me of are not even illegal in Angolan law. It’s like I’m accusing you of being ugly or in a bad mood… What’s the point of answering me?”