Justice Dept. Set to Seize Assets of African Dictator’s Son

Friday, October 21, 2011
Teodorin Nguema Obiang (photo: Information Ministry of Equatorial Guinea)
Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the son of Equatorial Guinea’s dictator, may soon lose $70 million in assets he holds in the United States.
 
The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a preliminary notice in California that it may be intending to seize a mansion, a private jet, several sports cars and Michael Jackson memorabilia, among other possessions owned by the man known in his country as Teodorín.
 
The eldest son of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is suspected of corruption and money-laundering. Teodorín is known for spending money on foreign travel and buying luxury automobiles.
 
Equatorial Guinea is rich in oil reserves, yet many of its people live in poverty.
 
Human Rights Watch lauded the move by the Justice Department, noting that U.S. officials “have turned up stark evidence of corruption by President Obiang and several of his family members in multiple investigations since 2003.”
 
Obiang’s son also faces similar investigations in France and Spain, along with his father and other relatives and associates. Earlier this month, French police seized eleven rare luxury cars belonging to Teodorin, with an average value of $1 million.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
 
Hold That Car (by Ken Silverstein, Foreign Policy)

Dictator of the Month: Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea (by David Wallechinsky. AllGov) 

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