By Staff Reporter
- French have been investigating Congolese, Gabonese and Equatorial Guinea dictators since 2010
- EU is trying to stamp on corruption by dictators who stash away billions while their nations suffer in poverty
- French authorities have already seized the Obiang family’s six-storey mansion on the chic Avenue Foch in Paris as well as several luxury cars.
- The Times reported that the extraordinary collection of prestige cars bought by the son of the President of Equatorial Guinea went on sale in Paris yesterday after being seized during a corruption inquiry.
Adam Sage Paris
- Citizens of the West African country — 76 per cent of whom live below the poverty line — will be denied the proceeds of the auction after France said it would pocket the money
France has charged the son of Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema of money laundering, his lawyer and a judicial official said on Wednesday.
Teodorin Obiang was charged as part of a corruption probe launched in December 2010 to determine whether three long-serving African leaders used corrupt means to acquire expensive properties in France.
The investigation focused on Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso, late Gabonese president Omar Bongo Ondimba, and the Obiang family.
French authorities have already seized the Obiang family’s six-storey mansion on the chic Avenue Foch in Paris as well as several luxury cars.
They also took away vanloads of possessions including paintings by famous artists, a clock worth an estimated three million euros ($4.2m) and wines worth thousands of euros a bottle.
Nine seized cars, including a Maserati, a Ferrari and a Rolls Royce were auctioned in July last year and netted 3.21 million euros.
Oil-rich Equatorial Guinea has been ruled with an iron fist by Teodoro Obiang Nguema since 1979.