Map of Equatorial Guinea
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Courthouse News Serive

By Ryan Abbott

October 27

U.S. Tells of Corruption in West Africa

WASHINGTON (CN) – The son of the president of Equatorial Guinea refuses to return a $38 million jet he bought with money he stole through companies that harvest his country’s natural resources, the United States says. The federal complaint is replete with tales of extravagant expenditures by the spoiled son, including “eight Ferraris, seven Rolls-Royces, five Bentleys, four Mercedes, a Porsche, two Lamborghinis and an Aston Martin” and $275,000 for one of Michael Jackson’s gloves.
The Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, Criminal Division, sued the Gulfstream G-V Jet, in a rather lurid, 24-page complaint that describes the pampered life of the son of the longtime president.
The jet was bought from Blue Sapphire Services and is believed to be in Equatorial Guinea. The entity that bought it is called Ebony Shine International, but its true beneficiary is the president’s son, according to the complaint.
The United States sued the jet, seeking forfeiture in rem. [ Read document here]
Though not named as defendants, key players in the lawsuit are Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mbasogo, who seized power in a 1979 coup – which overthrew his uncle – and the president’s son, Teodoro Nguema Obiang MangueUncle Sam says the jet was purchased using money obtained by unlawful activity, including extortion, misappropriation, theft, and embezzlement of public funds by or for the benefit of a public official, in violation of E.G. laws.
It seeks the forfeiture of “One Gulfstream Aerospace model G-V aircraft purchased by Ebony Shine International Ltd., bearing manufacturer’s serial number 669 and International Registration Number VPCES (Cayman Islands), its tools and appurtenances.”…Read more.