By Elite Reporter
Trouble is brewing in State House after the son of Equatorial Guinea’s leader was handed a USD30 million fine by a Paris court on Monday, on top of a suspended jail term for using public money to fund a jet-set lifestyle in Europe.
Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, who is the son of Equatorial Guinea’s leader Teodoro Obiang Nguema, had been convicted in 2017 of embezzlement, and it is from the conviction that the fine emanates.
He had been handed a three-year jail term as well as the $32.9 million fine, with both sentences suspended.
However, Obiang challenged the penalty only to have the Paris appeals court return a heavier sentence on Monday by removing the suspended provision from the fine.
The notorious playboy fond of luxury fast cars and Michael Jackson memorabilia was not in court for the ruling.
Obiang, 50, was put on trial on charges of using money plundered from his country’s state coffers to fund a jet-set lifestyle in France, where he bought a six-story mansion in an ultra-posh part of the capital.
The judges in his initial trial, which he did not attend, had ruled that his 107-million-euro mansion , which boasts of a hammam, a disco and gold-plated taps, should be confiscated, along with other assets. He also has a mansion in Malibu, California, USA.
The case, initiated by anti-corruption NGOs, is one of three involving families of African leaders which campaigners hope signals a new willingness of French authorities to tackle money laundering and siphoning of donations from the European Union by leaders of African countries..
Paris has long been a favored destination for the ill-gotten gains of wealthy figures linked to political leaders in Africa, particularly in France’s former colonies.
When investigators first raided Nguema’s home, they hired trucks to haul away a fleet of Bugattis, Ferraris, a Rolls-Royce Phantom and other cars as evidence.
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