Portuguese Rui Pinto, the hacker behind the “Football Leaks” scandal, is the source of “Luanda Leaks” about the supposedly fraudulent origin of the Angolan Isabel dos Santos fortune – his lawyers revealed today.
Arrested a year ago in Hungary, the hacker “takes responsibility” for transmitting, at the end of 2018, “all the data that originated the recent revelations” about the fortune of the daughter of the former Angolan president, announced the French lawyer William Bourdon and his Portuguese colleague Francisco Teixeira da Mota.
The 31-year-old “hacker” therefore wanted to favor the understanding of complex operations carried out with the complicity of banks and lawyers who not only impoverish the people and the State of Angola, but are also likely to seriously affect the general interest Portugal “, a former colonial power where Isabel made important investments, they added in a statement.
The data arrived via the Platform for the Protection of Alert Launchers in Africa (PPLAAF), chaired by Bourdon, a member of the Paris College of Lawyers who also represents the leaks Edward Snowden, Hervé Falciani (“SwissLeaks”), or Antoine Deltour ( “LuxLeaks”).
“We knew that several of our companies were the target of a Portuguese hacker,” said Sindika Dokolo, the Congolese husband of Africa’s richest woman, last week.
“These documents were kept and are now used to appropriate our assets abroad,” he told Rádio France Internationale.
Rui Pinto is in preventive detention in Portugal, where he will be tried for extortion attempt and for several crimes related to the leaks of “Football Leaks”, carried out from the end of 2015.
A consortium of European media outlets, the European Investigative Collaborations, published these leaks in several stages. Tax evasion mechanisms, suspected fraud and corruption, have surfaced involving football stars and club officials.
This information has enabled authorities in several countries to open investigations into suspected misuse of funds in football.
Shortly after being detained in January 2019 in Budapest, where he lived, Rui Pinto claimed to have six terabytes of unpublished documents.
On January 19, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) published an investigation, based on about 715,000 documents known as “Luanda Leaks”. In them, Isabel dos Santos is accused of having appropriated resources from the Angolan economy and accumulating, fraudulently, a fortune estimated at US $ 2.1 billion.
Three days after this publication, the Angolan court formally accused the billionaire and several of her Portuguese partners of fraud, embezzlement and money laundering. Isabel’s assets in Angola had already been frozen in December.
The 46-year-old Angolan denied the accusations of her country’s justice system. She is also considered a suspect in influence peddling, abuse of social assets and misrepresentation during her tenure at the head of the public oil group Sonangol.
“The accusations of the past few days against me are extremely misleading and false,” he said, denouncing a “political attack”. She said she was “willing to fight” in international justice to defend herself.