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Equatorial Guinea vice president convicted of money laundering

The Paris Correctional Court found that the property was bought with the proceeds of embezzlement and corruption in Equatorial Guinea.

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Obiang, 48, who is the eldest son of Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang, did not travel to France for the trial and was convicted in absentia.

The confiscated property included a mansion on Avenue Foch in Paris, valued at 107 million Euros (127 million dollars) in 2012, and a collection of cars costing almost 7.5 million Euros.

According to U.S. proceedings cited by the court, Obiang had an official salary of only 80,000 Euros.

The court also sentenced him to three years imprisonment and a fine of 30 million Euros, both suspended.

The court criticised the role of the Banque de France and a subsidiary of the Societe Generale bank in transferring Obiang’s funds to France.

It also noted that “for many years” Paris prosecutors had considered action against Obiang to be either inopportune or legally impossible.

In 2014 Obiang settled a corruption probe with U.S. authorities by agreeing to give up more assets worth over 30 million dollars.

The elder Obiang, who has been in power since 1979, was re-elected in 2016 with 98 per cent of the vote after a constitutional reform allowed him to seek two more seven-year terms.

However, the opposition accused the government of rigging the election.

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