The President’s Son Is In! French Trial Reveals Vast Wealth of Equatorial Guinean President’s Son

The President’s Son Is In! French Trial Reveals Vast Wealth of Equatorial Guinean President’s Son

 

The days of the Bugattis, the chateau Pétrus and the fine Parisian restaurants may be over for Teodorin Obiang – at least in western Europe.
The son of Equatorial Guinea’s leader is due to go on trial for corruption and money laundering in a landmark case in France.

Obiang, the 47-year-old vice-president of the oil-rich but impoverished African country, faces an array of legal cases across Europe as authorities on the continent investigate the sources of his vast wealth and uncover new and even more extravagant ways that he spent some of it.
US officials have already forced Obiang to forfeit property after accusing him of “shamelessly” looting his country. In a settlement, Obiang agreed to hand over more than $30m (£24.5m) worth of properties, including a vast villa in Malibu, California, and a dozen luxury cars.
Obiang, however, managed to keep his $38m private jet and collection of Michael Jackson memorabilia, which includes a crystal-studded glove.
In Europe, Dutch, Swiss and French authorities have seized property including Obiang’s 76-metre yacht, the Ebony Shine, and a mansion in Paris estimated to be worth $200m.
The mansion includes a cinema, spa, hair salon and sports room. Bathroom taps were covered in gold leaf while original paintings by Degas and Renoir hung on the walls.
Cars seized in Geneva included a Swedish-manufactured vehicle worth $2.8m and a $2m Bugatti Veyron.
French prosecutors allege that Obiang plundered nearly $115m between 2004-11 when he was agriculture minister for his father, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who has been in power since 1979.
President’s Son Is In! French Trial Reveals Vast Wealth of Equatorial Guinean President’s Son

President’s Son Is In! French Trial Reveals Vast Wealth of Equatorial Guinean President’s Son

President’s Son Is In! French Trial Reveals Vast Wealth of Equatorial Guinean President’s Son

President’s Son Is In! French Trial Reveals Vast Wealth of Equatorial Guinean President’s Son

The post gave Obiang control over the lucrative timber industry. Proceeds from a so-called revolutionary tax imposed on wood sales was transferred to his personal accounts, prosecutors allege.
In court on Monday, one of Obiang’s lawyers asked for the trial to be suspended on the grounds that his client had not been given enough time to properly prepare his defence, having been summoned to trial just three weeks ago.
“We’re not talking about a moped theft charge,” Emmanuel Marsigny told Reuters.
The trial marks a major shift for France, which has long turned a blind eye to corrupt African dictators buying Parisian real estate, enjoying spending sprees in the capital or on the Côte d’Azur, or simply fleeing to the country when in difficulty.

 

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