GERMAN COPS SEIZE BANK FILES IN PROBE OF LOAN TO ANGOLAN BILLIONAIRE
Police searched the headquarters of Germany’s state-owned export bank last month as part of a criminal probe sparked by the Luanda Leaks investigation, local media reported, with lawmen seizing files from KfW Ipex-Bank, a subsidiary of Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), following charges that employees misappropriated public funds when granting a $55 million loan to the brewery of Angolan billionaire Isabel dos Santos, according to Suddeutsche Zeitung, NDR and WDR, Will Fitzgibbon wrote for the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) on June 5, 2020.
Authorities are also investigating whether KfW properly vetted dos Santos’ ties to the beer company, Sodiba, before granting the loan, Süddeutsche Zeitung, NDR and WDR reported. In 2015, the KfW subsidiary loaned Sodiba $55 million through an Angolan bank, according to Luanda Leaks, a collaboration by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and journalists in 20 countries. The investigation revealed how dos Santos, Africa’s richest woman, moved hundreds of millions of dollars in public money out of one of the world’s poorest countries.
The Luanda Leaks investigation revealed that dos Santos used the loan to buy a brewery and bottle filling systems from German manufacturer Krones AG, according to reporting by media partners. Krones AG told reporters at the time of the investigation that it did not previously know dos Santos’ owned Sodiba.
Public records existed for years before the loan that tied the daughter of Angola’s autocratic president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, to the company. In setting up the brewery, ICIJ reported, dos Santos also used tax havens and advice from Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) in an effort to avoid paying taxes in Angola.