POLITICS

UK sanctions Equatorial Guineas presidents son over serious corruption

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UK govt sanctioned Equatorial Guinea’s president’s son for spending millions & buying luxury mansions, private jets, Michael Jackson’s crystal-studded glove.

Michael Jackson

IMAGE: AP


The UK government has imposed sanctions on Equatorial Guinea’s vice president Teodoro Obiang Mangue, the son of Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. In a statement on July 22, the British Foreign Office announced fresh sanctions on individuals across the globe including Equatorial Guinea’s VP for misappropriating millions and spending it on luxury mansions, private jets and a $275,000 (£199,600) crystal-encrusted glove worn by Michael Jackson. It also stated that Teodoro Obiang Mangue participated in “corrupt contracting arrangements and solicit[ed] bribes, to fund a lavish lifestyle inconsistent with his official salary as a government minister.”

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced the fresh UK sanctions against Obiang along with four other individuals who participated in “serious corruption” in Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Iraq and Equatorial Guinea. UK Foreign Office said Equatorial Guinea’s VP bought a $100m (£72m) mansion in Paris, a $38m (£28m) private jet, dozens of luxury vehicles that reportedly included Ferraris, Bentleys and Aston Martins. He also purchased a “collection” of Jackson memorabilia including a crystal-studded glove worn by the late singer during his Bad tour in the 1980s.

Earlier in 2013, the United States government was engaged in a legal battle to prevent the crystal-studded glove of Michael Jackson from landing in Obiang’s hands and had claimed that it was bought with “dirty money.” However, with the Uk government’s Thursday move, Britain will be freezing assets and imposing travel bans against Obiang along with four other individuals in a bid to ensure that they are no longer able to use their money through banks in the UK or enter the country. 

‘Fighting the blight of corruption’: Raab

In a statement accompanying the announcement of sanctions, Raab said, “The action we have taken today targets individuals who have lined their own pockets at the expense of their citizens. The UK is committed to fighting the blight of corruption and holding those responsible for its corrosive effect to account. Corruption drains the wealth of poorer nations, keeps their people trapped in poverty and poisons the well of democracy.”

United Nations Children’s Fund or UNICEF has previously stated that a third of Equatorial Guinea’s population does not have access to basic sanitation. Meanwhile, the World Bank has also estimated that over 76% of the population live in poverty in the country. Sky News report stated that investigations have revealed Equatorial Guinea’s VP  has spent more than $500m since he was appointed government minister in 1998. His father has also ruled the country since taking power in a coup in 1979 which was slightly more than a decade of Equatorial Guinea’s independence from Spain.

IMAGE: AP

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