Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue

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Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue
First Vice President of Equatorial Guinea
Assumed office
22 June 2016
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
Preceded by Ignacio Milam Tang
Second Vice President of Equatorial Guinea
In office
21 May 2012 – 22 June 2016
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
Preceded by Position established
Personal details
Born (1969-06-25) 25 June 1969 (age 48)
Political party PDGE
Alma mater Pepperdine University

Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue (born c. 25 June 1969,[1] nicknamed Teodorín) is the Vice President of Equatorial Guinea, in office since 2012. He is a son of Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the President of Equatorial Guinea, by his first wife, Constancia Mangue Nsue Okomo. He served for years as Minister of Agriculture and Forestry in his father's government before being appointed as Second Vice-President, in charge of defense and security, in May 2012. He was promoted to the position of First Vice-President in June, 2016.

Education[edit]

Nguema Obiang studied at l'Ecole des Roches of Normandy, a French private school,[2] he also spent five months at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.[2][3] However, according to The Times, Obiang graduated from that university.[4]

Political career and possible succession[edit]

Obiang served as Adviser to the Presidency in the 1990s and subsequently as Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, a post he held for about 15 years.[5]

It was reported in 2005 that he was to be made vice president of Equatorial Guinea, which, according to the constitution, would allow him to accede to the presidency upon his father's retirement.[6] He was eventually elevated to the post of Second Vice-President, in charge of defense and security, on 21 May 2012, alongside former Prime Minister Ignacio Milam Tang, who was designated as First Vice-President. After four years as Second Vice-President, he was promoted to the post of First Vice-President, while remaining in charge of defense and security, on 22 June 2016; this move, which followed his father's re-election in the April 2016 presidential election, placed him clearly in line to succeed his father.[5]

Spending and controversies[edit]

As Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Obiang was paid € 3,200 (£ 2,700) a month.[7]

The New York Times reported in 2004 that he was "a rap music entrepreneur and bon vivant, fond of Lamborghinis and long trips to Hollywood and Rio de Janeiro".[8] Superyacht Tatoosh was hired for £400,000 by Obiang for a Christmas cruise when he entertained rap singer Eve.[9]

He drew criticism from the international media for spending close to R10,000,000 over a weekend in South Africa on champagne, property renovations, a black 2004 Bentley Arnage, a cream 2005 Bentley Continental R from MG Rover Cape Town and a 2005 Lamborghini Murcielago,[10] although some assets may soon be forcibly auctioned due to his failure to pay a South African businessman.[11] American law enforcement officials believe that most or perhaps all of his wealth comes from corruption connected to oil and gas reserves in Equatorial Guinea.[12]

Obiang's foreign interests include two houses in South Africa, worth a combined R50,000,000, a $31,000,000 compound in Malibu, California, a 5,000 square feet (460 m2) home on Avenue Foch[7] in the affluent 16th arrondissement of Paris, and the hip hop music record label TNO Entertainment. In 2008 he owned one of the 30 models of the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 sports car (estimated at 1,100,000 ) and a Maserati MC 12 at 700,000 €.[13] He went on to purchase another Bugatti Veyron, and tried to purchase a third. In late 2011, both Veyrons, as well as nine other cars he owned, were seized by French police investigating corruption.[7] In July 2013, the confiscated goods were sold at auction.[14]

On January 19, 2013, Obiang arrested Roberto Berardi, an Italian building contractor, active for 20 years in Africa. After working in Cameroon he had formed a construction company with the son of President Teodoro Obiang, but discovered some strange operations on the current account and asked for an explanation. A few hours later the Italian contractor was arrested on charges of fraud and embezzlement. He was fined 1.2 million euros and jailed. No charges were brought from Italy against Obiang. Berardi was released on July 14, 2015 after more than two years of detention, including 18 months in solitary confinement.[citation needed]

On 18 October 2016, Swiss prosecutors opened an investigation on Teodorin Obiang after he landed eight times in Geneva.[15] French authorities had asked them for judicial assistance.[16]

Embezzlement charges[edit]

In October 2011, seven years after the United States Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations exposed the Obiang family’s secret accounts at Riggs Bank in Washington and five years after non-profit Global Witness discovered his mansion purchase in Malibu — the US Justice Department went to court to seize $70 million (£44m) of Nguema’s US assets, which include a Gulfstream jet, yachts, cars and Michael Jackson memorabilia.[17]

On 11 June 2012, the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) filed an amended complaint against Obiang, after a judge requested more evidence of the alleged corruption. The revised complaint states that Obiang spent $315 million on properties and luxury goods between 2004 and 2011. According to the foreign complaint, Obiang, while Minister of Forestry, levied personal "taxes" against local and foreign timber companies for licenses to operate and export timber, such as a $28.80 tax for every log exported, to fund his lavish lifestyle. The foreign prosecutors state that his expenditures "were inconsistent with both his known salary of less than $100,000 per year, and the income he purportedly generated from his companies."[18] In October 2014, Obiang reached a settlement with the United States Department of Justice to pay the U.S. DoJ some of the funds held at accounts on his behalf, as well as his Malibu home, a Ferrari, and portions of his Michael Jackson collection, for a total estimated value of US$34 million. Upon the resolution of the settlement, Obiang was able to keep his Gulfstream Jet, as well as some of the Michael Jackson memorabilia, including the crystal Michael Jackson glove, and other assets.[19] $20 million of the proceeds was pledged, on DOJ's website, to go to a charitable institution for the benefit of the people of Equatorial Guinea. Another $10.3 million was pledged to be used for the benefit of the people of Equatorial Guinea "to the extent permitted by law." Since both of these pledges, there have been no records of the funds sent to any of the citizens, nor any of the infrastructure of Equatorial Guinea.[20][21]

In February 2012, a Parisian mansion belonging to Obiang, worth around 100 million, was raided by French police and they discovered luxury goods inside worth millions of euros. In July 2012, an arrest warrant was issued for Obiang.[22] The mansion was seized by French authorities in August 2012. He was indicted by the French justice on several counts of corruption and money-laundering with an 'in absentia' trial beginning in 2017.[23]

In response, Equatorial Guinea filed a case against France in the International Court of Justice accusing France of breaching the diplomatic immunity of its representatives and premises.[22] In the preliminary phase the court found that France must guarantee the protection of the premises presented as housing the diplomatic mission of Equatorial Guinea in France.[24]

In September 2016, the District Attorneys Roger Le Loire and Charlotte Bilger referred him to the Criminal Court of Paris, and issued an arrest warrant through Interpol. This procedure was validated by the International Court of Justice in December 2016.[citation needed]

The French trial concluded in October 2017 with Obiang receiving a suspended sentence of three years plus a suspended fine of 30 million. His properties in France were also seized, including the Parisian mansion.[25][26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Biography". 12 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Anne Vidalie & Vincent Hugeux (5 April 2012). "Guinée équatoriale: la vie de nabab d'Obiang Junior". L'Express. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "$100m spree by playboy 'heir' to poverty-stricken dictatorship". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2011-10-27. 
  4. ^ "Playboy waits for his African throne". The Times. 2006-09-03. [verification needed]
  5. ^ a b "Guinée équatoriale : le président Obiang promeut son fils Teodorìn premier vice-président", Jeune Afrique, 23 June 2016 (in French).
  6. ^ "Equatorial Guinea asks Angolan military aid to plan succession". afrol News. 2005-11-11. 
  7. ^ a b c Angelique Chrisafis (2012-02-06). "France impounds African autocrats' 'ill-gotten gains'". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-02-06. 
  8. ^ Wines, Michael (2004-03-20). "Where Coup Plots Are Routine, One That Is Not". The New York Times. 
  9. ^ Johnson, RW (3 September 2006). "Playboy waits for his African throne". The Sunday Times. London. 
  10. ^ Johnson, RW; Town, Cape (2006-09-03). "Playboy waits for his African throne". London: The Sunday Times. 
  11. ^ "Equatorial Guinea playboy's Cape homes seized". IOL. 2006-02-16. 
  12. ^ Ian Urbina, "Taint of Corruption Is No Barrier to U.S. Visa for Millionaire", The New York Times, 17 November 2009.
  13. ^ David Servenay, Transparency porte plainte pour saisir la Ferrari d'Omar Bongo, Rue 89, 15 July 2008 (in French)
  14. ^ "Luxury cars seized from Equatorial Guinea leader's son raise £2.8 million". The Telegraph. 
  15. ^ Geneva prosecutors open investigation on Teodorin Obiang after 8 landings reported by GVA Dictator Alert
  16. ^ La justice suisse enquête sur un potentat africain
  17. ^ James V. Grimaldi (26 October 2011). "Efforts against Equatorial Guinea official shows challenge for U.S. in foreign corruption cases". The Washington Post. 
  18. ^ Bate Felix (15 June 2012). "U.S. prosecutors add charges in Equatorial Guinea graft case". Reuters. 
  19. ^ Scott Cohn (10 October 2014). "African nation leader forced to give up assets in DOJ settlement". CNBC. 
  20. ^ http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/second-vice-president-equatorial-guinea-agrees-relinquish-more-30-million-assets-purchased
  21. ^ Jason Burke (2 January 2017). "French trial reveals vast wealth of Equatorial Guinean president's son". The Guardian. 
  22. ^ a b The Republic of Equatorial Guinea institutes proceedings against France with regard to “the immunity from criminal jurisdiction of [its] Second Vice-President in charge of Defence and State Security, and the legal status of the building which houses [its] Embassy in France”, http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/163/19028.pdf, retrieved 11 December 2016
  23. ^ Kyle, Laura. (3 January 2017). "Inside Story: Can France hold corrupt African leaders to account?". Al Jazeera website Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  24. ^ "The Court finds that France must guarantee the protection of the premises presented as housing the diplomatic mission of Equatorial Guinea in France, Order from 7 December 2016, retrieved on 11 December 2016" (PDF). 
  25. ^ "Son of Equatorial Guinea's president is convicted of corruption in France". The Guardian. 27 October 2017. 
  26. ^ "Equatorial Guinea VP Teodorin Obiang sentenced in France". BBC. 27 October 2017. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Office established
Second Vice President of Equatorial Guinea
2012–present
Incumbent