Soccer leaker Rui Pinto named as Luanda Leaks whistleblower
28 Jan 2020

A professional soccer whistleblower has been named as the source behind a global exposé of the siphoning of Angolan wealth by Africa’s richest woman and her family.

Led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Luanda Leaks reveals how Isabel dos Santos, amassed a fortune of more than $2 billion.

The investigation was based on a trove of more than 715,000 documents provided by the Platform to Protect Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF), a Paris-based advocacy group.

Following the investigation’s publication, Angolan authorities charged dos Santos with fraud. They accuse her of embezzlement of public funds during her 18 month-stint as head of Sonangol, the state oil company.

Dos Santos denies the allegations.

On Monday, lawyer and PPLAAF chief William Bourdon revealed that Rui Pinto, the author of a whistleblower website called Football Leaks, had provided his organization with the Luanda Leaks documents.

In a statement Bourdon, who also represents Pinto, said:

“PPLAAF is pleased that once again a whistleblower is revealing to the world actions that go against international public interest.

“Like in the case of the Football Leaks, these revelations should allow for new investigations to be launched and thus help in the fight against impunity for financial crimes in Angola and in the world.”

Bourdon said Pinto wanted to expose activities that were illegal or contrary to the public interest, and to help the world to understand the complicity of western enablers in dos Santos’ enrichment at the expense of impoverished Angolans.

He added that the disclosure of the documents to PPLAAF was not politically motivated.

ICIJ director Gerard Ryle said: “The leaking of this material to PPLAAF, and in turn to ICIJ’s media partners, provided indisputable evidence of unnecessary misery that was inflicted on the ordinary people of Angola, and the role of enablers who got rich by helping.

“The documents came from a concerned citizen – someone doing the right thing by the public.”

By Douglas Dalby and Sydney P. Freedberg, ICIJ, 27 January 2020

Read more at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

Photo (cropped and edited): Nuno Coimbra [CC BY-SA]

RiskScreen: Eliminating Financial Crime with Smart Technology

Count this content towards your CPD minutes, by signing up to our CPD Wallet