13 billion in 14 months. Isabel dos Santos was charged with 11 counts in the Sonangol case

The Angolan public prosecutor's office, which analyzes in this document the management of the daughter of José Eduardo dos Santos between June 2016 and November 2017, points to several irregularities, including a parallel management plan and contracts signed with related companies. were made.

According to the indictment accessed by Lusa this Monday, Angolan businesswoman Isabel dos Santos is accused of eleven crimes in the process involving her management of the Angolan state oil company between 2016 and 2017.

Isabel dos Santos is accused of embezzlement, qualified fraud, abuse of power, abuse of trust, document fraud, criminal association, economic participation in business, influence peddling, money laundering, tax fraud and qualified tax fraud.

In addition to the daughter of the former Angolan president, the accused are Paula Oliveira, friend and partner (six counts), her former manager and friend Mario Leite da Silva (six counts), Sonangol Sarju Raikundalia's former financial manager (nine counts). ) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) consultancy (two offences).

According to the order dated January 11, the defendants paid the Angolan state between 208 million dollars (190 million euros), 176 million dollars (169 million euros), 39 million euros and about 94 million kwanzas (94 million euros). 104 thousand euros) involving improper wages, loss-making sales, tax fraud and fraudulent payments to companies.

The Angolan public prosecutor's office, which analyzes in this document the management of the daughter of José Eduardo dos Santos between June 2016 and November 2017, points to several irregularities, including a parallel management plan and contracts signed with related companies. were made.

According to the indictment, within the scope of her administration and using her status as the president's daughter (who passed away in 2022), Isabel dos Santos “formally agreed with the defendants Mario Silva, Sarju Raigundalia and Paula Oliveira to plan to severely defraud the Angolan government and force the board of directors to make decisions that benefited them.”

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As an independent consultant for Wise Intelligence Solutions, the Angolan businessman was initially invited to join an assessment team aimed at increasing the efficiency of the oil sector.

The company, which had “no relevant activity and was dormant”, signed an 8.5 million euro consulting contract with the Ministry of Finance and assembled a team of consultants including Boston Consulting Group (BCG), PwC, VdA (Vieira), among others. De Almeida Law Firm) and Accenture.

On June 3, 2016, Isabel dos Santos was appointed chairman of the board of directors of Sonangol, a body that initially included Sarju Raikundalia, a non-executive director, who at one point became in charge of the oil company's financial management. While holding shares in PwC.

Consultants and a law firm

According to the Public Ministry, Isabel dos Santos began by centralizing the management and administration of Sonangol Group's businesses, with the Board of Directors (CA) and the Executive Committee operating as a single entity, working with PwC, BCG and his consultants. VdA, two consultants and one of the most reputable law firms working in Portugal, to set up a parallel management plan.

Accused deceived the CA of Sonangol into authorizing late payments to the company through Sonangol Limited (London) through Investec Bank as the contract with Ministry of Finance expired.

However, after executing the payment orders, he closed Sonangol's accounts in Hong Kong. He also had interests in Angola and European companies.

Faced with suspicions of fraud, Isabel dos Santos and Mario Silva created a “new company” named Ironsea, registered in Dubai on February 1, 2017, to facilitate continued diversion of public funds by hiding the business with themselves. Accepted a contract position at Wise in May 2017.

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Ironsea was created “to legitimize and channel unnecessary payments from Sonangol with the sole purpose of misusing public funds,” but without some restraint, Sonangol Limited's general director, Maria Julia, refused to sign the service provision agreement. “Legal Reasons and Suspicion of Fraud”.

After dismissing the director, through an order with retroactive effect, Isabel dos Santos appointed her relative to the post, meanwhile deciding to change Ironsea's name to Mater, through which she would subcontract several consultants, including PwC. Accused in the case.

Ironsea/Matter was backed by Isabel dos Santos, Fidequity Fine and two other companies owned by Santoro, which also received nearly 2 million euros for alleged services, according to the indictment.

Ironsea/Matter generated revenues of 130 million dollars (118.7 million euros) in 2017, even after the administration led by Isabel dos Santos was dismissed on November 15 of the same year, with invoices issued with changed dates.

Before leaving, Isabel dos Santos and her allies ordered large bank transfers in favor of Mater, the payments being made “unusually quickly and without respect for procedures”.

Paula Oliveira faced immediate closure of Ironsea/Matter's accounts and allegedly transferred about $30 million (€27.4 million) to European accounts held by her two companies.

Although not part of the administration, Mario Silva and Paula Oliveira and some advisers regularly participated in CA meetings, the public ministry says.

Isabel dos Santos Group spent $13.1 million over 14 months in Sonangol

Isabel dos Santos and her team paid Sonangol $13.1 million (about 12 billion euros) in salaries between October 2016 and December 2017, according to indictments related to the businessman's management of the Angolan oil company.

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The document consulted by Lusa states that salary increases and remuneration of the board of directors were made in non-compliance with legal requirements, and that a SAP instance (management software) isolated from the Sonangol instance was created with this information. became inaccessible.

The salary processing was conducted by Sarju Raikundalia, one of his accomplices, the finance executive of Sonangolin and an accused in the case, and consultants from Madeira-based Odgas. dos Santos, also accused

According to the indictment, “excessive payments” totaling 13.1 million dollars (almost 12 million euros) were processed over a period of more than a year.

The amount includes basic salaries and other allowances for 32 employees of the governing bodies, of which eight received $8.9 million (€8.12 million) and 24 received the remaining $4.2 million.

Isabel dos Santos' base salary is 50,448 dollars per month (about 46 thousand euros), Paulino Geronimo is the second highest paid with 41,145 dollars per month.

Paulino Geronimo, who was removed as head of the Executive Committee by Isabel dos Santos, was appointed Secretary of State for Petroleum under current Angolan President João Lorenzo, and is the current head of the National Oil and Gas Agency. agency.

As for Sarju Raikundalia's administrative functions, which the Angolan public prosecutor's office argues were illegally allocated, he began to benefit unduly from the salary of an executive director, who should have benefited from only 50% of this amount. Salary advance in his favor by Sonangol Limited (London).

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