Interpol confirms red notice for Angolan billionaire Isabel dos Santos

FILE PHOTO: Isabel Dos Santos, daughter of Angola’s former President and Africa's richest woman, sits for a portrait during a Reuters interview in London, Britain, January 9, 2020. Picture taken on January 9. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

LISBON (Reuters) - Global police agency Interpol confirmed on Wednesday it had issued a red notice for Angolan billionaire Isabel dos Santos, daughter of the country's former president, asking global law enforcement authorities to locate and provisionally arrest her.

Dos Santos, who has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, has faced corruption accusations for years, including allegations by Angola in 2020 that she and her husband had steered $1 billion in state funds to companies in which they held stakes during her father's presidency, including from oil giant Sonangol.

Portugal's Lusa news agency reported on Nov. 18 that Interpol had issued an international arrest warrant for dos Santos. But Interpol told Reuters it had issued a red notice instead at the request of Angolan authorities.

It explained that a red notice was "not an international arrest warrant" but a "request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action".

A source close to dos Santos said on Nov. 19 that she had yet to be notified by Interpol. A spokesperson for dos Santos did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment.

According to Lusa, an official document related to the request made to Interpol mentions that dos Santos is often in Portugal, Britain and the United Arab Emirates.

The same document cited by Lusa said dos Santos, 49, was wanted for various crimes, including alleged embezzlement, fraud, influence peddling and money laundering.

Dos Santos has given interviews recently, telling CNN Portugal on Tuesday the courts in Angola were not independent" and judges there were "used to fulfil a political agenda".

(Reporting by Catarina Demony and Patricia Rua; editing by Aislinn Laing and Mark Heinrich)

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