News Luanda Leaks: The Curious Case of Konema Mwenenge

Luanda Leaks: The Curious Case of Konema Mwenenge

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Since 2015, companies with Isabel and Sindika as sole beneficiaries have been subject to more frequent checks by the Dutch authorities,” warns one of his asset managers in an email dated May 20, 2016. Mr. Dokolo vituperates against what he describes as the contempt of Western banking institutions for the necessarily suspicious African haves.

For his business, Mr. Dokolo trusts only his wife and a discreet high school friend, who is hard-working and skilled in offshore finance: Konema Mwenenge. Almost everywhere “Sindika” invests, “Konema” takes a management position and lends his name to head the couple’s shell companies, according to the Luanda Leaks. This French citizen, of Congolese origin, also son of an aristocrat of the “second republic” of Mobutu Sese Seko, does not like social events. “Sindika is the “show-off” oligarch. Konema, on the other hand, has a very rigorous side,” says a person close to the two men.

Mr. Mwenenge operates from an address in the eighth arrondissement of Paris, but also from London, where he has established one of his financial services companies. Together with Mr. Dokolo, he has also set up a diamond trading platform in Dubai, which boasts a value of $2 billion a year in gems from Angola and elsewhere.

Konema Mwenenge is everywhere. Between October 2015 and February 2017, he provides nearly $3 million worth of invoices to the Angolan brewery, Sodiba, of which “Engineer Isabel dos Santos and Dr. Sindika Dokolo” are the “Angolan shareholders of record,” according to a presentation brochure dated October 2016 contained in the “Luanda Leaks.”

For this, Mr. Mwenenge uses six offshore companies that he represents, without raising the slightest question from the law firms or accountants with whom he exchanges. He simply indicates that these are “shareholder loans”. Nor did it raise any questions about one of Mr. Mwenenge’s companies registered in the British Virgin Islands, which is taking on more than $5 million in consultancy contracts.

When contacted, Mr. Mwenenge did not wish to react.

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