Jose Filomeno dos Santos, the brother of Africa’s richest woman, Isabela dos Santos and son of former Angolan President has been sentenced to five years in prison by Angola’s Supreme Court for $500 million fraud.
Popularly known as Zenu, dos Santos junior was accused of stealing $500 million from Angola’s national sovereign wealth fund which he transferred to a Swiss bank account when he was in charge, during the time his father was President.
He was also accused of attempting to steal $1.5 billion from the sovereign wealth fund between 2013 and 2018.
Three other defendants involved in the case including the former governor of the Angolan National Bank, Valter Filipe da Silva, bagged jail terms ranging from four to six years for embezzlement and influence peddling.
“For the crime of fraud… and for the crime of peddling influence… the legal cumulus condemns him to a single sentence of five years in prison,” the judge said to Zenu dos Santos during the sentencing hearing.
He and the three other defendants were however acquitted of money-laundering charges.
Jose dos Santos becomes the first member of the former president’s family to be prosecuted since President Joao Laurenco started his anti-corruption campaign against the family in 2017.
Isabela dos Santos, Africa’s richest woman and half-sister to the convicted Zenu had her assets frozen by Angolan investigators in February, 2020. She is under investigation for mismanagement, embezzlement and money laundering during her time as head of the state owned oil conglomerate Sonangol.
Isabela has vehemently denied the accusations and accused the current Angolan president of a political witch-hunt against her family.