Isabel dos Santos

Portuguese banks slap €26 million Christmas Day lawsuit on Isabel dos Santos

Portuguese banks CGD, BCP and Novo Banco have slapped a new lawsuit on Isabel dos Santos – the former first daughter of Angola who has been heavily implicated in the Luanda Leaks corruption scandal (click here).

The suit targeting Winterfell Industries – one of Ms dos Santos many companies, based in Malta – entered Lisbon’s county court on Christmas Day.

It followed a similar action lodged a month ago against subsidiary company Winterfell 2.

At issue, explains Expresso, are €26.39 million which were lent by the three banks for Ms dos Santos and Winterfell Industries to purchase a share of Portuguese company Efacec in 2015.

Says the paper, Ms dos Santos was a shareholder in Efacec through Winterfell 2. 

Her 72% shareholding however has since been nationalised due to the Luanda Leaks case. An independent appraiser has been appointed to stipulate the amount the Portuguese State should pay for the shareholding, while Ms dos Santos remains ‘surrounded’.

As a recent article on the site of the ICIJ, the consortium of investigative journalists that broke the Luanda Leaks scandal earlier this year, explains: “Rarely has a billionaire fallen so far, so fast. But in Angola and beyond, the systemic ills the Luanda Leaks investigation brought into focus — corruption, the flight of wealth to offshore centers and a sprawling dark money industry that enables and accelerates the looting of entire nations — remain largely untreated”.

Isabel dos Santos has had a terrible year, financially and personally (click here), but there has been no rapid solution to the alleged ‘stolen assets’ – and these court actions are unlikely to change that, particularly as Ms dos Santos has denied the web of allegations that have seen her empire crumble.

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