The son of Former Angolan President José Eduardo Dos Santos who led the oil-rich country from 1979 to 2017 has been sentenced to five years in prison for fraud.
The 42-year-old José Filomeno Dos Santos served as head of Angola’s Sovereign Wealth Fund from 2013 to 2018. He was accused of allegedly embezzling about $1.5 Billion from the $5 Billion worth fund.
Filomeno was charged for transferring $500 Million from the fund into a bank account in Switzerland.
The President, Joao Lourenço, a former Defense Minister under Filomeno’s father assumed power in 2017 after he was chosen by Eduardo Dos Santos to replace him following his (Dos Santos) 38 years rule.
Filomeno is the first family member of the former President who has been tried and sentenced in what is believed to be an anti-corruption campaign being led by President Lourenço.
Three other defendants including the Governor of the National Bank of Angola, Valter Filipe da Silva, were sentenced to between four and six years for embezzlement, fraud and influence peddling after being cleared of money laundering charges.
Filomeno’s sister, Isabel Dos Santos, believed to be the richest woman in Africa was also fired by President Lourenço in November 2017 over embezzlement allegations. She was the head of the Angolan oil giant, Sonango.
While several Angolans believe the corruption fight us in the right direction, many also believe Lourenço is on a political witch-hunt to settle scores with his predecessor.
Isabel Dos Santos is currently living outside the country after she said her life was threatened. Former President Eduardo Dos Santos is also living abroad.