- (Photo: REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker)
Miss Angola Leila Lopes' victory as the first from the African nation to ever win Miss Universe could turn into shame if allegations of fraud prove to be true.
Lopes, crowned Miss Universe 2011, has been accused of falsifying documents to participate in and win a qualifying contest in England.
According to Argentinean publication Infobae, Lopes was allowed to enter a Miss Angola competition for citizens of Angolan descent living in the United Kingdom. Lopes has never lived outside of Angola, according to media reports.
Infobae alleges that a man by the name of Charles Mukano doctored documents to make Lopes appear to be a business management student at a British university, which qualified her for the Miss Angola contest.
The Argentinean publication goes even further, citing reports in the Angolan press that claim Mukano possibly bribed judges in England to aid Lopes' victory in the competition.
AOL Latino reports that Miss Universe officials have denied knowing any Charles Mukano.
The publication also obtained a comment from Miss Universe officials regarding rumors of Lopes' alleged Cuban ancestry.
"We also heard the rumor that her parents were from Cuba and [that] she speaks Spanish, which is false," the organization told AOL Latino in a statement. "We have never heard of [Charles Mukano]. The national director who ran the Miss Angola pageant is Renato Guttler."
Lopes, 25, became the first Miss Universe from the African nation of Angola Monday, beating out Miss Ukraine, Olesia Stefanko to be crowned Miss Universe 2011 competition.
Lopes, from Benguela, Angola, said she hoped that earning the crown will help her effort to bring an end to war and impoverishment in her homeland.
The pageant, celebrating its 60th anniversary, took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil.