From New York to London: lock up their daughters?
- August 13, 2019
- Posted by: Bishop Group
- Category: Blog
THE BISHOP blog and newsletters always try to stay on trend—especially when the trend involves potentially misappropriated assets.
On page 2 of our Summer 2019 Newsletter we highlighted the case of Claudia Sassou Nguesso, a Congo MP, who allegedly used proceeds from a contract with the government run by her father, President Sassou Nguesso, to buy a two-bedroom flat in Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York.
The Congo president’s family is under investigation in Paris in connection with more than 100 bank accounts as well as properties and cars worth $50 million.
Not to be outdone, London now has its own version of the Congo story. The Times reported today that Isabel dos Santos, the eldest child of José Eduardo dos Santos, President of Angola from 1979 to 2017, has been found to be the owner of a residence in Kensington.
She bought the property in 2007 for £8.65 million without a mortgage via an Isle of Man company. It is now estimated to be worth more than £13 million.
As The Times pointed out, more than a third of Ms dos Santos’ fellow Angolans survive on less than £2 a day, while she is reported to have amassed a fortune of about £2 billion in the form of large shareholdings in Angola’s key industries.
The discovery is the work of Finance Uncovered, where Nick Mathiason and his merry band of investigative journalists kept their eye on planning applications in the London borough of Kensington & Chelsea.
The application concerned a plan to demolish the 30 year old building and create a four-storey mansion with an underground swimming pool.
The newspaper quoted Simon Taylor, a co-founder of Global Witness, which investigates alleged corruption, saying: “The fact that this property is owned by Isabel dos Santos, through a company based in a tax haven, should raise all the red flags for corruption risk.”
According to one expert: “The golden rule of parenting is to always show your children the kind of person you want them to be.” It looks like some parents may have succeeded beyond their expectations.