E Guinea fury as Brazil seizes $16m from visiting delegation

2018-09-18 21:16
iStock

iStock

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The tiny West African state of Equatorial Guinea on Tuesday demanded Brazil hand back more than $16m in cash and luxury watches that border officials confiscated from a delegation accompanying the president's son.

Foreign Minister Simeon Oyono Esono Angue denounced the seizure as "paltry and unfriendly behaviour" and demanded the items be returned, state television TVGE said.

Teodorin Nguema Obiang, vice president of Equatorial Guinea and son of its longtime ruler, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, arrived on Friday on a private plane at Viracapos airport near Sao Paulo as part of an 11-person delegation.

Federal police found $1.5m in cash in one bag and watches worth an estimated $15m in another, O Estado de Sao Paulo reported.

Brazilian law prohibits people from entering the country with more than 10 000 reais, or about $2 400, in cash.

"The vice president was on a private trip to Brazil," the Brazilian ambassador to Equatorial Guinea, Evalde Freire, who was called in to the foreign ministry in Malago, told TVGE on Monday.

"All international travellers are subjected to national airport procedures, where customs and police do their job," Freire said.

O Estado de Sao Paulo quoted a diplomatic source from Equatorial Guinea as saying the money was to pay for medical treatment Obiang was to undergo in Sao Paulo.

The watches were for his "personal use" and engraved with his initials, the report said.

Obiang junior, 49, was sentenced in France to a three-year suspended term in October 2017 for money-laundering.

He has visited Brazil several times, attending the 2015 Carnival in Rio de Janeiro when a samba school won top honours for a Equatorial Guinea-themed parade but was heavily criticised because its was allegedly funded by the Obiang regime.

Obiang senior, 76, seized power by ousting his own uncle, the first post-independence president Francisco Macias Nguema, who was then shot by firing squad.

He won a fifth seven-year term in 2016 with nearly 94 percent of the ballot. General elections last November saw his party win 92% of the vote. Both elections have been criticised as fraudulent.

Critics accuse him of brutal repression of opponents as well as election fraud and corruption.

Equatorial Guinea has become one of sub-Saharan Africa's biggest oil producers, but a large proportion of its 1.2 million population lives in poverty.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Read more on:    equitorial guinea  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.