Feb 13, 2020 - World

Soccer hacker Rui Pinto also behind Isabel dos Santos corruption leaks

Portuguese hacker Rui Pinto

Portuguese hacker Rui Pinto. Photo: Ferenc Isza/AFP via Getty Images

A 31-year-old Portuguese hacker named Rui Pinto from 2015 to 2019 leaked a series of anonymous documents that exposed corruption in European soccer, pulling back the curtain on the murky world of soccer finance and resulting in criminal prosecutions of several top players.

Driving the news: Turns out the enormous trove of data that Pinto obtained held a much bigger secret, revealing how Isabel dos Santos, Africa's richest woman and the daughter of Angola's former president, exploited her country's wealth to amass a $2 billion fortune.

Pinto was only recently revealed as the source of the "Luanda Leaks" — a collection of 715,000 emails, charts, contracts and audits that was obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and reported on last month in media outlets across the globe.

  • Those reports led to an investigation of dos Santos, who is suspected by Angola's government of plundering the state oil company to bankroll her business empire.

The latest: Portuguese authorities have issued a freezing order on dos Santos' bank accounts, aiding Angolan authorities in their global hunt for her assets.

What they're saying: "Pinto is the Snowden of international corruption," said his lawyer, William Bourdon, who previously represented American whistleblower Edward Snowden. "And he is in jail in a democratic country."

What's next: In September, Pinto was taken into custody and currently sits in a Portuguese prison, awaiting trial on 93 charges, including cybercrime and extortion.

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