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Yacht worth US$380m ordered by E-Guinea dictator
The UK-based civil society group Global Witness today has reported its newest investigations into the economy of the Equatoguinean playboy-turned-minister. The group can document on of the largest spending posts yet of the Obiang family, in complete control of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea.
"The Obiang regime has a long track record of looting money that belongs in Equatorial Guinea's treasury," Global Witness says in a statement today.
The UK group has previously revealed Teodorín's profligate lifestyle in the US and elsewhere, with a US$ 35 million Malibu mansion, a fleet of luxury cars and a private jet, while earning a ministerial salary of US$ 6,799 per month. "It would take him some 4,600 years to pay for Project Zen on his reported official salary," the group notes.
"Evidence points to corruption by Teodorín on a scale that would not be possible or attractive if countries like Germany and the US were not safe havens, in terms of free passage for him and for his questionable private wealth," said Gavin Hayman of Global Witness. "US$ 380 million is a staggering sum - that a President's son from such a poor country has ordered this yacht is outrageous extravagance on his part," he added.
The Information and Press Bureau of the government of Equatorial Guinea has confirmed that Teodorín had ordered the design, while adding that he "then dismissed the idea of buying it." The spokesperson claimed that if the order had gone ahead Teodorín, "would have bought it with income from his private business activities and he would not in any case have bought it with funds derived from sources of illegal financing or corruption".
She clarified that, in Equatorial Guinea, "there are no legal restrictions prohibiting public figures from taking part in private lucrative activities."
By staff writer
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