Brazil 'seizes $16m from Obiang's entourage'

[caption id="attachment_97874" align="aligncenter" width="624"]Vice-President Teodorin Nguema is known for his lavish tastes Pc: AFP Vice-President Teodorin Nguema is known for his lavish tastes Pic: AFP[/caption]

Brazilian officials have confiscated more than $16m (£12.2m) worth of cash and luxury watches from a delegation accompanying the son of Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, local media reported.

Teodorin Obiang, the flamboyant vice-president of Equatorial Guinea and a son of the long-time president, flew in with his entourage in a private plane on Friday, the reports said.

The money and watches were reportedly found in the luggage of the delegation at the the Viracopos International Airport in Sao Paulo.

Police found about $1.5m in cash in one bag and watches worth an estimated $15m in another, the respected Brazilian newspaper, O Estado de Sao Paulo, reported on its website.

It quoted a diplomatic source from Equatorial Guinea as saying the money was to be spent on medical treatment for Mr Obiang in Sao Paulo.

The watches, engraved with his initials, were for his “personal use”, the report said.

Last year, a French court gave Mr Obiang a three-year suspended jail term after he was found guilty of embezzlement. He was sentenced in absentia.

His assets in France will be seized, including a mansion on Avenue Foch in Paris. He also got a suspended fine of about $35m.

TV Globo, the leading broadcaster in Brazil, said the vice-president was the only member of the delegation who had diplomatic immunity as the group was not on an official mission.

Under Brazilian law, it is illegal to enter the country with more than about $2,400 in cash.

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There has been no official comment from Mr Obiang or Equatorial Guinea’s government.

Source: BBC