Police in Dubai say they don’t suspect foul play in the death of Sindika Dokolo, the husband of the embattled Angolan billionaire Isabel dos Santos, after his death free diving off the city-state as corruption allegations circle both him and his wife.
Dokolo, a 48-year-old Congolese art dealer who married dos Santos in 2002, died Thursday near Umm al-Hatab Island, Dubai police said in a statement Sunday.
Dubai police Maj. Gen. Khalil Ibrahim al-Mansouri, assistant commander-in-chief for criminal investigation affairs, said authorities received an emergency call about Dokolo near the island. Maritime units rushed to the island, some 7 nautical miles off the coast of Dubai, and later discovered Dokolo dead.
The police statement comes after Dokolo’s family posted a message on his Twitter account announcing his death.
“The Dokolo family, his wife, children, mother, brother and sisters have the deepest sorrow and immense sadness to announce the passing of Sindika Dokolo, which occurred on October 29, 2020 in Dubai,” the tweet read. “We thank all who have expressed their sympathy and kindness and who share our grief.”
Born in Kinshasa in the former nation of Zaire in 1972, Dokolo grew up in Belgium and France, according to a family biography. He collected art from a young age and later managed his family’s holdings in Congo.
Dos Santos is the daughter of Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled diamond- and oil-rich Angola for 38 years before stepping down in 2017. His government long faced allegations of looting the country’s wealth while leaving the majority of its population living in shantytowns.