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Portugal prosecutor orders seizure of Africa’s richest woman Isabel dos Santos’ accounts

PUBLISHED: Wed, 12 Feb 2020 12:58:29 GMT

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LISBON (Reuters) – Portugal’s public prosecutor said on Tuesday it had ordered the seizure of Portuguese bank accounts belonging to Isabel dos Santos, who is a suspect in a fraud investigation in Angola.

Dos Santos, the daughter of former Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, was not immediately available for comment. She has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the past weeks.

“The public prosecutor’s office requested the seizure of bank accounts (belonging to Isabel dos Santos) as part of a request for international judicial cooperation by the Angolan authorities,” a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office said.

Portugal’s central bank declined to comment

Last month, Angola named dos Santos a formal suspect over allegations of mismanagement and misappropriation of funds during her time as chairwoman of state oil company Sonangol.

Dos Santos has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Angolan authorities froze her assets in the African country in December.

A banking source familiar with the case told Reuters that accounts held by dos Santos were seized at Millennium bcp, Portugal’s largest listed bank.

Millennium bcp declined to comment on Tuesday.

Another banking source said accounts were seized at small Portuguese bank EuroBic, in which the businesswoman until recently held a 42.5% stake. Spanish bank Abanca said on Monday it had agreed to buy 95% of EuroBic shares.

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Eurobic declined to comment.

Dos Santos also sold her controlling stake in Portuguese engineering firm Efacec last month.

Reporting by Sergio Goncalves and Catarina Demony; Editing by Andrei Khalip