The recent Luanda Leaks investigation illustrates the fragility of Africa’s burgeoning economy once again. They are also a significant signal to global traders of just how important it is to carry out research prior to any dealings in shares or currencies, particularly if ethical trades are a primary consideration.

Isabel dos Santos is the richest woman in Africa and was educated in the UK.

She worked for Coopers & Lybrand accountancy firm after graduation. Could it be this connection that encouraged what has been termed her subsequent ‘pillage’ of the fragile Angolan economy?

Daughter of former Angolan President, José Eduardo dos Santos, she has managed to rack up a personal wealth of around $2bn through her business dealings and offshore financial transactions.

About The Luanda Leaks

The Luanda Leaks build on the Panama Leaks of April 2016 (which were sourced from the offices of the law company Mossack Fonseca) and offer even more insight into the corrupt dealings of people in power.

These “Luanda Leaks” relate to around 715,000 documents which are currently being reviewed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

The Panama Papers include about 11.5mn encrypted documents, and these were initially passed over to Suddeutsche Zeitung, and are still under scrutiny today.


Isobel dos Santos is the daughter of Angola’s former president, and it seems she has taken advantage of this position in life to siphon off virtually all the assets of her country.

Her father, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, had ruled this oil-rich country with an iron fist since 1979, but stepped down in 2017/18.

Angola had previously been a Portuguese colony but achieved independence in 1975, in much the same fashion as many of the Middle Eastern countries this resulted in a long, drawn-out civil war.

The new President of Angola is currently investigating the Isobel dos Santos fortune, however, the leaks have already illustrated that the Sonangol state oil company which she managed throughout 2016 and 2017 was totally drained of all assets during this time.

Cash had been transferred out of the country to alleged management companies and other business providers (all headed up by dos Santos), leaving Sonangol with just $309 cash in hand by 16 November 2017. Other Angolan businesses operated by dos Santos and her husband are also implicated within these leaks.

Dos Santos vehemently denies any wrongdoing, however, it’s difficult to deny facts when they’re published worldwide. Canny investors with an interest in ethical share and currency deals should always keep stories of this nature in mind, when trades seem a little too good to be true!