Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, better known as Teodorin, is the son of the dictator of Equatorial Guinea, a country with vast oil revenues and endemic poverty.
70% of Equatorial Guinea’s citizens live on just $1 a day
Teodorin’s father, President Obiang, not only installed his eldest son as minister of forestry; he also granted him a massive timber concession, giving Teodorin control over Equatorial Guinea’s second most important resource. The position also gave Teodorin control over the nation’s infrastructure—convenient, since he also owned the the country’s largest construction businesses. Teodorin allegedly demanded “taxes” or “fees”—which the U.S. claimed were nothing more than bribes—from other companies seeking to harvest timber in Equatorial Guinea.
According to U.S. Justice Dept. Data, Teodorin amassed more than $300 million in assets while officially earning less than $100,000 per year.
Recent asset recovery efforts
United States – Teodorin is accused by the U.S. of looting more than $100m from his impoverished country to go shopping and pay for a Malibu mansion, a Gulfstream jet and the late Michael Jackson’s white, crystal-covered glove.
France – Prosecutors allege that Obiang plundered nearly $115m between 2004 and 2011. Dutch, Swiss and French authorities have seized property, including Obiang’s 76-metre yacht, the Ebony Shine, and a mansion in Paris estimated to be worth $200m.
Spain – [Officials have uncovered] Nine real estate purchases in Madrid, Gijon, and the Canary Islands that were made on behalf of the President, members of his family, and other close associates.
Efforts to charge Mr. Obiang with corruption and money laundering began in 2007, when nongovernmental organizations filed a complaint accusing three African politicians of using public money to buy property in France. The trial, scheduled for June 19, will not only deal justice to Obiang. It establishes an important precedent in the broader fight against injustice and corruption that has been endemic amongst the global elite.