"I see no obvious basis on which Isabel dos Santos' assets should be protected in this jurisdiction; there appears to be an obvious argument in favour of a worldwide freeze on her assets," argued Judge Robert Bright in the decision published today by the British Supreme Commercial Court .

At issue is the case brought by Unitel, now controlled by the Angolan State, against Unitel International Holdings BV, based in the Netherlands, and against businesswoman Isabel dos Santos, who asked for the freezing of 580 million pounds, the equivalent of 670 million euros at today's exchange rate.

In the decision, the judge states that it is "highly desirable that Isabel dos Santos be required to declare her assets, in circumstances where Unitel does not know which, if any, assets are held by her and are not covered by seizure orders or freezes that are already in force".

Therefore, he concludes, he does not accept "the principle that the other asset freezing orders mean that it is neither fair nor convenient for this court to decide on yet another order", as defended by the businesswoman, who says she is the victim of an "oppressive campaign" .

The London court's decision follows a series of actions filed by the Angolan State and by public and private companies against the businesswoman since João Lourenço took office as President of Angola in 2017, and which also included other members of José's family Eduardo dos Santos, who governed Angola for almost 40 years.

In December last year, the Angolan Supreme Court (TS) ordered the preventive seizure of the assets of businesswoman Isabel dos Santos, valued at one billion dollars (around 930 million euros), namely 100% of the Unitel T+ companies, in Cape Verde , and Unitel STP SARL, in São Tomé and Príncipe, of which the daughter of the former President of Angola José Eduardo dos Santos was the effective beneficiary.

According to the order, among other accusations, Isabel dos Santos “also transferred amounts from Unitel SA to the entity Unitel International Holdings BV, a company based in the Netherlands, incorporated on 05/04/2012 and controlled by Isabel dos Santos herself, her sole effective beneficiary”.

In fact, between May 8, 2012 and August 28, 2013, the note states, seven financing contracts were signed between Unitel SA and Unitel International Holdings BV, through which the former lent the latter the total amount of 322,979,711.00 euros and 43,000,000.00 dollars, amounts that the beneficiary company “is obliged to return within 10 years”.

Such loans, “in which Isabel dos Santos signed the aforementioned financing contracts, in the simultaneous capacity of legal representative of both companies”, allowed Unitel International Holdings BV to acquire shares or set up companies in the telecommunications sector in Portugal, Cape Verde (Unitel T+) and São Tomé and Príncipe (Unitel STP, SARL)”, concludes the order.