Britain on Thursday sanctioned the son of Equatorial Guinea’s President, who is currently serving as the Vice President, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue for misappropriating and syphoning millions of dollars which London said was spent on luxury mansions, private jets and memorabilia of the late pop star, Michael Jackson, which contained a glove costing $275,000.
The UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab said Obiang had participated in “corrupt contracting arrangements and soliciting bribes, to fund a lavish lifestyle inconsistent with his official salary as a government minister”.
Britain accused Obiang of buying a $100 million mansion in Paris, a $38 million private jet, a luxury yacht, and dozens of flamboyant vehicles which included Ferraris, Bentleys, and Aston Martins.
Criminal allegations are not unusual phenomena encountered by Obiang.
In 2016, a collection of luxury cars belonging to the 53-year-old politician were confiscated by Swiss authorities following a corruption probe. The cars were then placed for auction in 2019. Millions of dollars were realized in sales.
In 2017, Obiang faced corruption charges by a French court and he was handed a three-year suspended jail term. Prosecutors accused him of embezzlement of funds meant for public utilization and his involvement in money laundering activities.
Obiang’s extravagant lifestyle resurfaced into the spotlight in 2017 after Brazilian police seized millions of dollars in cash, including a set of luxury watches from a delegation who had accompanied the son of the president, following a search on the private aircraft in the city of Sao Paulo.
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Obiang’s father, has ruled Equatorial Guinea for the past 42 years. He attained power after instituting a military coup in 1979, eleven years after independence from Spain. Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue had previously held government positions until his elevation to Vice President.
Equatorial Guinea is ranked as one of the richest countries in the African continent. However, reports from World Bank shows that more than 50% of the population still live in abject poverty whilst the president and his family are living a flamboyant lifestyle.