How Africa’s Richest Woman Exploited Family Ties, Shell Companies And Inside Deals To Build An Empire

Isabel dos Santos made a fortune at the expense of the Angolan people, Luanda Leaks reveals.


  • Two decades of unscrupulous deals that made Isabel dos Santos Africa’s wealthiest woman and left oil- and diamond-rich Angola one of the poorest countries on Earth.
  • A web of more than 400 companies and subsidiaries in 41 countries linked to Isabel dos Santos or her husband, Sindika Dokolo, including 94 in secrecy jurisdictions like Malta, Mauritius and Hong Kong.
  • How a cadre of Western business advisers moved money, set up companies, audited accounts, suggested ways to avoid taxes and turned a blind eye to red flags that experts say should have raised serious concern.
  • Directed hundreds of millions of loans and contracts to her companies.

SShe spun a story the world wanted to believe: a self-made billionaire who had risen in a male-dominated business world in an African country ravaged by civil war and poverty.

In public appearances in the spring of 2017, Isabel dos Santos, then head of Angola’s giant state oil company, Sonangol Group, mingled with Hollywood legends on the French Riviera and charmed oil tycoons in Houston with tales of hard work and accomplishment. Wearing her trademark black blazer at the London Business School, the 44-year-old chairwoman told a packed audience that leaders should be chosen on their merits.

“I’ve been managing companies for a long time, starting them from small, building them up, going through every single stage of what it takes for a company to be successful,” she said.

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  1. It’s a matter of time before the revolving door catches up with Frank Biya and the Chantal Biya Nanga-Eboko dynasty that has been fitted into every fabric of the civil service to chop free money despite a display of incompetence spanning from Ferdinand Ngo Ngo, Soumbou Angoula, Mbidoung Mkpatt, Fame Ndongo, and how the Yeugue Djibril children, Brenda and Junior found themselves at ENAM without completing High School.

    • Do not forget that the Issa Tchiroma’s, Francoise Findings and many others built their empires with the CEPE ( Certificat d’Etudes Primaires Elementaries or FSLC. Who will judge the second generation candidates taking the short cut?

  2. Because we are cowards and do not challenge and confront these crooked fellows in our societies,
    we only regret it latter and start writing funny stories. These top level peoples, are all crooks and
    dangerous humans, who will stop at nothing, to wipe away any obstacle, that wants to stand on
    their way, when they are operating. One thing, is very clear: they collaborate, are in groups{cults}
    etc etc, while the commoners, can never group themselves together and do any meaningful thing
    like one man. And their numbers, is usually small. We who can defeat them, play cowardice,
    hence they having their ways easily and we remain complaining and grumbling all day long.

  3. @ John dinga. Why didn’t you mention the name of richest man of kamerun aka Baba Danpulo? Is it because he is a master degree holder or he is from Nw (Anglophone according to you. To me he is a Kamerounian from Nw). I always consider you as the most dangerous terrorist among others. You prepare yourself to gain no matter the output of this pb. You are double sided cutlass. I need @ least 100000 deads before calling it war. No country have developed without real war internally. That’s the best way to know people’s mind towards nation’s wealth. The army has my Full Support.

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