Brazilian Authorities Seize $16m From Equitorial Guinea President’s Son


Brazilian authorities have reportedly seized more than $16 million worth of cash and luxury watches from a delegation accompanying Teodorin Nguema Obiang, son of Equatorial Guinea President, local media report has said.

The 48-year-old, who is known for his lavish taste, is also the vice president of the oil-rich Central African country.

Brazil limits people from entering the country with more than $2,400 in cash. The country’s embassy in Brazil told police that Obiang was in the country for medical treatment.

About 76 percent of Equatorial Guinea's 1.2 million population live in poverty.

Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Africa's longest-serving leader, with his son, have been accused of misusing the country's oil revenue, though they both deny any wrongdoing.

Human rights groups have also accused the president of systematic repression of opponents.

An 11-man entourage travelling on a government plane landed at the Viracopos International Airport, in Campinas, in Sao Paulo on Friday.

Police were said to have found $1.5million in cash and watches worth an estimated $15million in two bags, the other 17 bags had clothes, according to local news site, Globo.

Global reports that Equatorial Guinea's embassy told the Brazilian police in a statement, that the money was for Obiang's use on a trip to Singapore from Brazil, while the watches - engraved with his initials - were for his personal use.

Officials of Brazil's foreign ministry told AFP that it was "in permanent coordination with the federal police and the customs service over the case and to decide what measures should be taken".

Obiang was the only member of the delegation who had diplomatic immunity in the entourage.

In 2017, a French court sentenced him to a three-year suspended jail term for corruption.

The court ruled that his assets in France should be seized, including a mansion on Avenue Foch in Paris. He also got a suspended fine of $35million.

In the same year, Swiss prosecutors seized 11 luxury cars belonging to Obiang. They said he had stolen his country's oil wealth to buy luxuries, including a private jet and Michael Jackson memorabilia.

In 2015, he was said to have paid a samba dance group $3.5million to adopt an Equatorial Guinea theme during Brazil's annual carnival.

A spokesperson for the Beija-Flor samba group denied that they had received the money but said it had received "cultural and artistic support", the UK Guardian reported

Latest in this Category