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Angola: Paris court orders Isabel dos Santos to pay $600m in damages to PT Ventures

Isabel dos Santos, billionaire daughter of Angola’s former President José Eduardo dos Santos has been charged by a court in France to pay damages worth over $600 million to PT Ventures, a company acquired by the Angolan oil company, Sonangol.

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) earlier in February 2019 awarded an indemnity of $339.4 million and $314.8 million in favor of PT Ventures, following a decrease in the value of shares the company owns in Unitel, Angola’s biggest mobile operator in which Isabel dos Santos owned 25% stake through her company, Vidatel Limited.

She filed a request for annulment of that decision but the court in Paris rejected the application; Sonangol said in a statement that, the Paris court of appeal re-established that, the initial decision of the arbitral tribunal holds; her company, Vidatel was ordered to pay the arbitral amount worth over $600 million as compensation to PTV and the legal costs of the proceedings.

Prior to her tragedies, Isabel dos Santos was considered the richest black woman in the world with Forbes magazine rating her wealth at $2.2bn; her empire started crumbling when her father’s reign came to an end after 38years in power. The administration of Angola’s new president, João Lourenço stated that the billionaire daughter used her father’s status as President to secure mouthwatering deals involving land, oil, finance, diamonds, telecoms, etc.

After just two months into his administration João Lourenço dismissed Isabel Dos Santos from a position given to her by her father as the head of state oil firm Sonangol in the year 2016; the administration of President Joao Lourenço who claimed Isabel and her associates caused financial loss of at least $1.1 billion filed a suit with the court ordering that the assets of Isabel, including her 25% stake in the country’s Telecom giant Unitel be frozen.

Following this, Forbes has so far dropped her from the Billionaire list. Forbes said in a statement that, “She has no access and likely little chance to gain back control of the frozen assets together worth about $1.6 billion if not frozen so we give her no value for them and by our calculations she is no longer a billionaire.”

Isabel has long moved out of Angola citing threats to her life as reason; she was earlier reported to own a home on a private island in Dubai, a Yacht worth $35 million, a residence in London and many more.

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