(The Independent) Coming To America (to launder his millions?)

(The Independent) Coming To America (to launder his millions?)

Guy Adams June 16, 2012
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The US Department of Justice filed an amended complaint attempting to seize more than $70 million worth of goods that belong to President Obiang's oldest son, Teodorin, which he allegedly purchased using fraud, corruption, and money laundering.

 

 

Question: how did an African politician, on an official salary of roughly $6,000 a month, manage to acquire the lifestyle of a Hollywood billionaire, partying at the Playboy mansion, travelling in private jets, and living at a $30m Malibu mansion filled with impressionist artwork, and surrounded by its own private golf course?

Answer: simple. First, that politician was lucky enough to be Teodoro Nguema Obiang, heir apparent to the autocratic dictator of Equatorial Guinea, a tiny country in West Africa which since discovering huge oil reserves in the mid 1990s has acquired the dubious distinction of having one of the world’s most spectacularly-corrupt governments.

Secondly, Obiang was able to find a pair of high-flying Beverly Hills lawyers who – in exchange for extravagant fees - were prepared to set up an opaque string of shell companies that allowed him to secretly control dozens of US bank accounts through which tens of millions of his ill-gotten dollars could be laundered.

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