Angola's dos Santos not aware of Interpol arrest warrant: official source

FILE PHOTO: Isabel dos Santos, Chairwoman of Sonangol, speaks during a Reuters Newsmaker event in London, Britain, October 18, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

LISBON (Reuters) - Isabel dos Santos has yet to be notified of an international arrest warrant reportedly issued by global police agency Interpol, an official source representing the billionaire daughter of Angola's former president said on Saturday.

In a statement sent to Reuters, dos Santos' official source said her lawyers had "consulted the Interpol database and, so far, there was no reference to the issuance of a warrant".

Portugal's Lusa news agency reported on Friday that Interpol had issued a warrant after public prosecutors in Angola asked the agency to "locate, arrest" and extradite dos Santos.

Interpol and the public prosecutors did not respond to requests by Reuters for comment.

Citing an official document, Lusa said the 49-year-old businesswoman was wanted for alleged offences including embezzlement, fraud, influence-peddling and money-laundering.

Dos Santos has for years faced accusations of corruption, including a 2020 allegation by Angola that during her father's presidency she and her husband steered $1 billion in state funds to companies they held stakes in.

She has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Dos Santos' source said she had been aware for nearly three years of legal cases against her in both Portugal and Angola but that she had never been named as a defendant.

"Over these almost three years she formally made herself available to make statements whenever she was summoned," the source said.

According to Friday's report by Lusa, the arrest warrant mentions dos Santos is often in Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.

Authorities are aware of dos Santos' location, the official source said.

Dos Santos' father, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who died in July, ruled Angola for almost four decades until 2017.

(Reporting by Catarina Demony; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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