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Host of exiled Gambian dictator accused of looting

Dec 11, 2019, 2:48 PM | Article By: Alagie Mbye, The Point’s Europe Correspondent

Teodorin Nguema Obiang, the son of Equatorial Guinea’s President, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo,the latter Yahya Jammeh’s host, has been accused of ‘‘shamelessly looting his government and shook down businesses in his country to support his lavish lifestyle.’’

 The repeated allegation resurfaced when Teodorin finally decided to appeal the seizure of his multi-million dollar assets and other belongings hidden across Europe.

 Considered as one of the richest and most flamboyant men in the continent, Teodorin, nick named ‘‘play boy’’ was found liable for ‘‘fraudulently acquiring his wealth’’.

Right groups and other campaigners said that while his people are still living in ‘‘poverty and malnutrition,’’ he engaged in ‘‘incredible extravagant.’’

 The president’s son who is also the vice president (VP), was accused of not only ‘‘persistent human right violations’’ but also ‘‘looting the government’s coffers with impunity.’’

Following series of investigations, most of his cars in France as well as his extravagant Paris home were seized.

 It is alleged that the wealth of his country from both the oil and timber industry is reportedly controlled by his father and himself along with a small group of people.

 French prosecutors who were adamant in his prosecution revealed his collections of sports cars ranging from Bentley and Rolls Royce. He also purchased Michael Jackson’s memorabilia worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and was filmed ‘‘bragging’’ with different kinds of expensive cars such as Ferrari and Lamborghini.

 According to investigators, the VP was secretly seen purchasing ‘‘30 suits at once’’ from one of Europe’s most expensive tailors with a watch costing 22,000 Euros.

This correspondent was informed that in a matter of hours, his properties in Switzerland were sold in an auction. The most expensive Lamborghini Veneno Roadster was recorded in that auction.

Europe is not alone in recovering the ‘‘stolen assets’’. The United States authorities following a Senate investigation, accused the VP of ‘‘stealing or smuggling’’ 100 million dollars from his country.

 Even though he vowed to recover his wealth, the Justice Department blamed him for amassing his treasure via ‘‘bribes and kickbacks’’. Consequently, the VP was forced to surrender his holiday home in Malibu worth 30 million dollars to U.S. authorities.

 The Point earlier reported his conviction in absentia in France on money-laundering charges. His 100-room house was also confiscated.

 Interestingly, even though some Gambian politicians are campaigning for Yayha Jammeh’s return for unknown reasons, prominent politicians and lawyers in his host country are constantly demanding his prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

 Recently, a High Court in South Africa, dismissed the VP’s appeal with cost regarding another case in connection with the ‘‘attachment’’ of his property and a bungalow in an affluent suburb.

An order in favour of the plaintiff, Janse van Rensburg, who is claiming millions of dollars against the VP for ‘’wrongful detention’’ in Equatorial Guinea was granted.

 The VP had allegedly ordered the arrest and detention of the plaintiff who was jailed in Black Beach Prison, a notorious jail in Equatorial Guinea in September 2013 for 423 days.

 Despite the evidence, the VP denies all allegations against him and vowed to continue his appeal, thus spending more cash in his defence.