Equatorial Guinea delegation in trouble over Ksh.1.6B, luxury watches in Brazil
- Brazilian laws do not allow people entering the country to have more than $2,400 (241,752) in cash.
- The seized officials claimed that the money was for a medical treatment Obiang was to undergo in Sao Paulo.
- The luxury watches engraved with Obiang's initials are for the vice president's personal use, the official added.
Brazilian authorities seized more than $16 million (Ksh.1.6billion) in cash and luxury watches from a delegation travelling with the vice president of Equatorial Guinea.
Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the son of the nation’s longtime leader was part of the 11 member delegation that traveled to the South American country.
Brazil federal police seized the items after searching their plane which arrived at the Viracaspos airport near Sao Paulo on Friday, a Brazilian newspaper media reported.
Brazilian laws do not allow people entering the country to have more than $2,400 (241,752) in cash.
The 48- year old vice president was the only member of the group with diplomatic immunity who was not included in the search operation.
An official from the Equatorial Guinea Embassy claimed that the money was for a medical treatment Obiang was to undergo in the Sao Paulo and also for his hotel accommodation during his stay in the country.
The luxury watches engraved with Obiang’s initials are for the vice president’s personal use, the official added.
According to media reports, Brazil’s Foreign Ministry said it was working with the federal police and customs to determine steps that will be taken on the case.
Obiang has been accused of embezzling millions of dollars to buy mansions,cars and fund a lavish lifestyle abroad.
In 2014, the vice president sold his Malibu mansion, a Ferrari and paid $20 million to a charity as part of a settlement deal following allegations that he had used public funds to amass the assets in the United States..
He was sentenced last year in France to a three-year suspended sentence on charges of embezzlement of public funds and money laundering.
Obiang’s father, Teodoro Obiang Nguema has ruled the country for 39 years.
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