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Will Equatorial Guinea Bail VP Out?

An appeal court in France has fined Equatorial Guinea’s vice-president $33m for using public money to fund his lavish lifestyle. Teodorin Obiang, 50, had challenged his 2017 conviction for embezzlement, but the court gave him a heavier sentence by refusing to suspend the fine. The court upheld a ruling of a lower court to seize his assets in France. He is the son of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, who is Africa’s longest-serving leader. The case against Obiang was triggered by anti-corruption campaign group Transparency International and a similar non-government organisation, called Sherpa. Obiang denied the charges, saying his wealth had come from legitimate sources. Between 2000 and 2011 Obiang acquired a collection of luxury assets and properties in France, including the $33m Avenue Foch mansion. He also owned 18 luxury cars, artwork, jewellery and designer fashion, the court found.