Billionaire Isabel dos Santos loses £580m London case

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Isabel dos Santos

Angolan billionaire Isabel dos Santos has lost a legal battle in London against an application to freeze up to £580m ($735m) of her assets.

Angolan telecoms operator Unitel is suing her over loans made to Dutch company Unitel International Holdings (UIH) in 2012 and 2013, when Dos Santos was a director of Unitel.

The loans were not repaid and around £300m (£240) is outstanding, according to Unitel.

Ms Dos Santos’s late father, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, ruled Angola for 38 years until 2017.

Unitel asked London’s High Court to grant a worldwide freezing order over her assets last month. Judge Robert Bright granted the order on Wednesday.

Ms Dos Santos has responded to Unitel’s allegations by saying she is the victim of a “campaign of oppression” by Angola’s government.

She also says Unitel is itself responsible for UIH’s inability to repay the loans because of its alleged role in Angola’s unlawful seizure of UIH’s assets.

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