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Proceeds from Seized Assets to Fund Malabo’s Vaccination Programme

Nearly $27 million seized from the Vice President of Equatorial Guinea Teodorin Nguema Obiang Mangue will be spent on Covid-19 vaccines for the country, the US Department of Justice said in a statement Monday. The decision comes after a 2014 forfeiture agreement between the US and Obiang, who is accused of acquiring assets in the country with ill-gotten gains. Mangue has disputed the claims. The United Nations will receive $19.25 million to buy and distribute the vaccines in the Central African country, while $6.35 million will be handed over to a US-based charity “for the purchase and distribution of medicines and medical supplies throughout Equatorial Guinea,” the justice department stated. According to the settlement agreement between Obiang and the US government, the Equatorial Guinea leader “was required to sell a Malibu, California, mansion that he purchased for $30 million, a Ferrari automobile and various items of Michael Jackson memorabilia, and to contribute $1 million representing the value of other property,” the DOJ’s statement said. The agreement also empowered the US to keep $10.3m of the forfeited proceeds, while the remaining funds would be spent on programs that benefit the people of Equatorial Guinea.