Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue
|Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue|
|First Vice President of Equatorial Guinea|
22 June 2016
|President||Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo|
|Preceded by||Ignacio Milam Tang|
|Second Vice President of Equatorial Guinea|
21 May 2012 – 22 June 2016
|President||Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo|
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Born||25 June 1969|
|Alma mater||Pepperdine University|
Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue (born c. 25 June 1969, 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.
Nguema Obiang studied at l'Ecole des Roches of Normandy, a French private school, he also spent five months at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. However, according to The Times, Obiang graduated from that university.
Political career and possible succession
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.
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. 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.
Spending and controversies
As Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Obiang was paid € 3,200 (£ 2,700) a month.
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". Superyacht Tatoosh was hired for £400,000 by Obiang for a Christmas cruise when he entertained rap singer Eve.
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, although some assets may soon be forcibly auctioned due to his failure to pay a South African businessman. 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.
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 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 €. 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. In July 2013, the confiscated goods were sold at auction.
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.
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.
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." 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. $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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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- La justice suisse enquête sur un potentat africain
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- Kyle, Laura. (3 January 2017). "Inside Story: Can France hold corrupt African leaders to account?". Al Jazeera website Retrieved May 25, 2017.
- "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).
- "Son of Equatorial Guinea's president is convicted of corruption in France". The Guardian. 27 October 2017.
- "Equatorial Guinea VP Teodorin Obiang sentenced in France". BBC. 27 October 2017.
- Teodoro Nguema's Instagram account
- Teodoro Nguema's Facebook page
- Homepage for the Ministry of Agriculture for the Republic of Equatorial Guinea
- Official Homepage for the Ministry of Agriculture for the Republic of Equatorial Guinea (in Spanish)
- The tiny African state, the president's playboy son and the $35m Malibu mansion
- Malibu Bad Neighbor: A dictator in training buys his way in, as politically active superstars stay mum
- Secret documents reveal multi-million dollar shopping spree by African dictator’s son; U.S. authorities fail to act on evidence of corruption
- Toadorin's World – article in Foreign Policy Magazine BY KEN SILVERSTEIN
|Second Vice President of Equatorial Guinea