By Maureen Heydt, October 21, 2019
Twenty-five luxury vehicles worth over $27 million. Gilded toilets in a secret forest compound. Three lions in a private zoo. A $200,000 wedding dress for a cabinet minister’s daughter. The bounty of kleptocracy can take many, sometimes...
TO THE EDITOR:
“A French Shift on Africa Strips a Dictator’s Son of His Treasures” (Paris Journal, Aug. 24) highlights the need for Congress to take action to abolish anonymous shell corporations. These secretive entities helped enable President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo’s son to launder more than $100 million of ill-gotten gains through American banks to finance his lavish lifestyle while ordinary Equatorial Guineans remain mired in poverty.
Equatorial Guinea is a tiny nation of just 700,000 people, but it is rich in oil and other natural resources. President Teodoro Obiang, Teodorin’s father, has ruled the country since 1979. During that time, he has amassed a massive fortune, including over $700 million that Fortune Magazine estimated Obiang and his government stashed in one U.S. bank as recently as 2006.
They are using the state’s natural resource wealth to enrich the regime and the Obiang family. For example, the U.S. Government has alleged that in his position as Minister of Agriculture, Teodorin imposed a “revolutionary tax” on timber and insisted that the tax be paid in either cash or by check, made out to a company owned by Teodorin.
Use of “In Rem” Legal Proceedings Major Step in Battle Against Corruption
WASHINGTON, DC – Global Financial Integrity welcomed efforts by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), to seize over $70.8 million in corrupt wealth from Teodorin Obiang, the infamous son of the President of Equatorial Guinea.
U.S. Discloses Action to Seize Kleptocrat’s Loot; In Separate Report, UNODC Measures Laundered Funds at $1.6 Trillion in 2009
WASHINGTON, DC – The past twenty-four hours has seen the publication of two reports and the disclosure of an asset forfeiture complaint which, collectively, lay bare the size and seriousness of a global money laundering epidemic—underscoring the need for better incorporation transparency measures.
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, as countries around the world observe International Anti-Corruption Day, Washington, DC-based research and advocacy organization Global Financial Integrity (GFI) notes the following victories and defeats from the past year in the fight against international corruption: