US attempts to seize $70m from despot's 'corrupt' son


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The Independent US

The US government is seeking to recover more than $70m(£44m) from the son of Equatorial Guinea's president amid corruption and money laundering allegations.

It claims Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue – a government minister in the country led by his father is Teodoro Obiang Nguema – amassed more than $100m and spent $30m on a Californian mansion, $38.5m on a Gulfstream jet and nearly $2m on Michael Jackson memorabilia.

US authorities filed two complaints in Washington DC against him yesterday.

"We are sending the message loud and clear – the United States will not be a hiding place for the ill-gotten riches of the world's corrupt leaders," said Assistant US Attorney General Lanny Breuer.

Mr Nguema earns less than $100,000 a year but is said to have pilfered millions from the sale of his oil-rich country's natural resources, Washington authorities said.

The US government said it would try to recover the stolen funds for "the benefit of the people of the country from which it was taken."