Cape Town – Global police agency Interpol last Wednesday confirmed it issued a red notice for Angolan billionaire Isabel dos Santos, daughter of the country’s former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, asking global law enforcement authorities to locate and provisionally arrest her.
Dos Santos is wanted for alleged corrupt activities relating to her various business interests.
According to a spokesperson for Dos Santos, she has yet to be notified of the red notice by the international police authority.
In a statement sent to Reuters, Dos Santos official source said her lawyers “consulted the Interpol database and, so far, there was no reference to the issuance of a warrant”.
According to international media reports, the Angolan public prosecutor Helder Pitta Gros told reporters that Angola filed an international arrest warrant for Dos Santos, citing reports by AFP news agency.
According to BBC reports, she has been charged by Angolan authorities with mismanagement and embezzlement of public funds when she headed the state oil firm, Sonangol.
According to reports, the government has filed several civil and criminal lawsuits demanding more than $5 billion – more than R86.8bn (from her, but Dos Santos has denied the charges).
Dos Santos claims she is the victim of political persecution, citing Portuguese media.
According to Portugal’s Lusa news agency, an official document related to the request made to Interpol mentions that Dos Santos is often in Portugal, Britain and the United Arab Emirates.
No one would have ever imagined that the daughter of the late President of Angola,Isabel Dos Santos will get an international arrest warrant.Her father led the country for four decades.Another lesson for the families of power.
— Senator Shehu Sani (@ShehuSani) November 29, 2022
In a November interview with Russia’s Sputnik news, Russian Ambassador to Angola Vladimir Tararov said in an interview that Dos Santos did not apply for asylum or repatriation in Russia, despite having Russian citizenship.
What is a Red Notice?
A Red Notice is a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action.
According to Interpol’s website, the individual(s) are wanted by the requesting member country, or international tribunal. Member countries apply their own laws in deciding whether to arrest a person.
Isabel dos Santos was once considered Africa's richest woman according to Forbes magazine with a net worth exceeding $2bn.
In 2021, the US said it will deny entry to Isabel dos Santos, for “involvement in significant corruption”.
Her name appears on a list released by the State Department of people accused of corruption and who are facing sanctions.