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Angola's ex first daughter Isabel dos Santos charged with fraud

Angola's billionaire former first daughter and 'Africa's richest woman' has been charged with money laundering and fraud during her stewardship of the state-owned oil firm.

An international arrest warrant could be issued for Isabel dos Santos as officials in the capital, Luanda, move to try and bring her home to face trial for allegedly looting the country's coffers.

Documents leaked this week alleged the daughter of ex-president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, plundered state funds to build her personal fortune, estimated at $2.1 billion.

Dos Santos is said to have got access to deals involving diamonds, oil and telecoms when her father was president.

The 46-year-old, who attended Cobham Hall school in Kent and King's College London, has lived outside Angola since her father ended his rule in 2017.

Isabel dos Santos pictured with Amber Heard (left) and Cara Delevingne (right) at Cannes Film Festival in May 2014

Dos Santos with Lindsay Lohan and Harvey Weinstein at a party in Sardinia in August 2016

Dubbed Africa's richest woman and known as 'the princess', Dos Santos is accused of using her father's backing to plunder state money from the oil-rich but poor southern African country and moving the money abroad with the help of Western firms. 

Investigations into Dos Santos's 18-month tenure as Sonangol head from June 2016 were opened after her successor Carlos Saturnino raised the alarm about 'irregular money transfers' and other dodgy procedures.

She stopped living in Angola after her father, who ruled the country with an iron fist for nearly four decades, stepped down in 2017 for his anointed successor Joao Lourenco.

Prosecutor general Helder Pitta Gros told a news conference late on Wednesday: 'Isabel dos Santos is accused of mismanagement and embezzlement of funds during her tenure at Sonangol and is thus charged in the first instance with the crimes of money laundering, influence peddling, harmful management...forgery of documents, among other economic crimes.' 

Dos Santos, who owns a £13million home in Kensington, West London, has 190,000 Instagram followers and is regularly photographed with celebrities. 

Stars she has been seen include are Lindsay Lohan, Rita Ora, Nicole Scherzinger, Paris Hilton, Amber Heard, Cara Delevingne and disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein. 

Isabel dos Santos, pictured between Nicole Sherzinger and Paris Hilton in Cannes in May 2018

Isabel dos Santos, reputedly Africa's richest woman, and her husband and art collector Sindika Dokolo arrive for a ceremony at the City Hall in Porto, Portugal, in 2015

Former Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos is pictured in Luanda in August 2012

Gros said dos Santos was among five suspects, all of whom were currently residing abroad.

'At the moment, the concern is to notify and get them to voluntarily come to justice', said Gros. 

Angolan news agency Angop said the prosecutor, who travelled to Lisbon on Thursday, had spoken of the possibility of an international warrant. 

Gros said: 'At this moment, the concern is to notify [the suspects] and assure that they voluntarily come to face justice.'

Failing that, his office would resort to legal instruments at its disposal, one being an international warrant, he said. 

Angolan authorities froze dos Santos' assets there in late December. 

The government says it is trying to recover $1.1 billion it says the country is owed by Dos Santos, her husband, Sindika Dokolo, and a close associate of the couple. 

Isabel Dos Santos, daughter of Angola's former President and Africa's richest woman, has been charged with money laundering and mismanagement, which she denies 

Dos Santos has posed with a host of celebrities, including Rita Ora in Cannes in May 2017

On Sunday, hundreds of thousands of files about dos Santos that were obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) were released by several news organisations.

The cache of documents is known as the 'Luanda Leaks'. 

The media reports focused on alleged financial schemes used by dos Santos to build her business empire, including transfers between Angola and Dubai. 

Dos Santos, who has been living abroad, said on Sunday that allegations made against her were 'completely unfounded'.

Today it also emerged she is selling her capital stake in Portuguese bank Eurobic, media reports quoted the bank as stating.

Dos Santos, 'took the decision to withdraw as a Eurobic shareholder', according to a bank statement posted late on Wednesday to its website.

It added the decision 'is definitive [and] must go through as soon as soon as possible'.

Eurobic stated that 'she has already definitively renounced her voting rights'.

The bank says it will carry out an audit whose conclusions it will pass on to Portugal's central bank.

Dubbed 'the princess' by Angolans, Isabel dos Santos was named Africa's richest woman by Forbes in 2013.