Gasto extraordinario del hijo del playboy del dictador africano en juicio por usar el dinero de su gente empobrecida para financiar el estilo de vida de cinco estrellasPUBLICADO: 13:42 GMT, 5 de enero de 2017
The playboy son of Africa's longest serving dictator on trial in Paris accused of siphoning off millions of pounds from his impoverished country has chronicled his life of luxury in hundreds of extraordinary social media posts.
Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, 47, who was made Equatorial Guinea's vice-president and security chief by his father, is pictured skiing, abseiling, scuba diving, walking with lions, partying with semi-naked women, sipping champagne, enjoying helicopter rides, eating in five-star restaurants and driving super cars, top-of-the-range motorbikes, speed boats and submersibles around a series of palatial estates.
Posting under the name Teddy Nguema, often using the hashtag #luxuryliving, he reveals a life of astonishing wealth and privilege at a time when three quarters of the population of his tiny, oil-rich west African nation live below the poverty line.
On top of the world: In hundreds of Instagram posts, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue - facing trial in Paris for corruption, money laundering and embezzlement - appears to boast of a life of opulence with fast super cars, exotic locations (above in Cuba) and lavish spending
Spend, spend, spend: Among the posts is an Instagram image showing Obiang riding a $75,000 Green Machine - described online as a 'big trike for adults' – with hashtags #omg #crazy #fun. One online commentator says: 'Excellency you have awesome stuffs on wheels'
#luxuryliving: The 47-year-old, pictured in this red Aston Martin, was made Equatorial Guinea's vice-president and security chief by his father. He is on trial in his absence in Paris, France, accused of using public money to fund his lavish, five star lifestyle
Back to the future: A post of Obiang riding one of three £44,000 futuristic 'Tron' bikes parked in his drive, prompted one poster to ask: 'You put up photos, showing us everything you have. The people of your country have nothing. Doesn't that weigh on your conscience a bit?'
Over the past three years, more than 800 photographs show Obiang on holiday and attending sports tournaments, beer festivals and carnivals in Tahiti, Hawaii, Capri, Portofino, St Bart's, Trinidad and Tobago, Hong Kong, Aruba, Dubai, Brazil, Switzerland, Cuba, Germany and the Bahamas.
There are multiple selfies and pictures taken by underlings of the dapper, bespectacled bachelor dressed in slick suits, carrying a silver-topped cane and wearing a Patek Philippe watch, as well as on board a private jet, bedecked with gold-plated crests, floral decorations and even gilded tissue boxes.
Others show him driving contraptions including what appears to be a Batmobile, a £44,000, futuristic Tron motorbike and a submersible vessel decorated like a fish called a Sea Breacher.
Sycophantic comments below the pictures include: 'Our beloved vice-president, pride of the African youth', 'très charismatique!!!' and 'Yes my uncle, a large and powerful look'.
But others indicate the fury felt by some of his countrymen about his profligate lifestyle in a nation where the United Nations estimates that 20 per cent of children die before the age of five and more than half the population has no access to clean drinking water. 'You're spending money on silly things and here I am unable to afford even bread,' one post remarked.
Obiang gives a nod to his official role in government, posting insider pictures from state visits to the capital Malabo by the presidents of Nigeria, Gabon, Benin and Ivory Coast, a summit of African and Arab leaders in November, his own visit earlier that month to Egypt and even a photo-op with Barack and Michelle Obama at a United Nations General Assembly.
Money no object: Obiang is alleged to have bought at least 15 cars totalling $6m, and fine art worth $24m at the sale of Yves Saint Laurent's private collection. A lawyer acting for the French government told an earlier pre-trial hearing Obiang had 'a compulsive need to buy'
High life: On the Instagram account there are multiple selfies and pictures taken by underlings of the dapper, bespectacled bachelor dressed in slick suits, as well as the 'action man' in shorts and t-shirts riding adventure quad bikes in Equatorial Guinea (above)
Private jets: In one sequence, Obiang appears to show off a massive gold and black watch as he stares at the camera, while his crocodile-skin loafers are pictured propped on the seat. The flight monitor shows he is heading south towards Africa from the French/Swiss border
Bottoms up: Among the incredible photos he has posted on Instagram at various exotic locations around the world over the last three years, Obiang was pictured drinking beer at Germany's Oktoberfest four months ago
The account also offers a glimpse into the private life of the dynastic Obiang family, showing the opulence of the presidential palace compound that takes up the eastern half of the Bay of Malabo, and a series of lavish birthday, Christmas and New Year's celebrations including, this year, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in a Santa hat.
President Obiang, who was once a prison governor, came to power in the former Spanish colony of just 750,000 people by toppling then executing his uncle in 1979. He has since won a series of elections in his country with a dubious 90 per cent or more share of the vote.
His opponents allege that he dabbles in cannibalism and rights groups claim his regime suppresses dissent with a time-honoured combination of arbitrary arrests, torture and extra-judicial killings.
Simon Mann, the Eton-educated mercenary was convicted of attempting to overthrow the president in the now notorious Wonga Coup which Mann claimed was backed by Sir Mark Thatcher. Mr Mann was released after less than a year in custody when Mr Obiang granted him a presidential pardon.
Mr Mann's wife Amanda later described the dictator as a 'lovely lovely man' who sent his personal chef to cook for her husband – and said she sent him a book about the New Forest to say thank you.
Life in the fast lane: In a series of posts, Obiang conceded his love of 'toys', posting pictures posing in a yellow McClaren on his account, as part of his opulent lifestyle. He has opted to stay in Equatorial Guinea while his trial takes place
On trial: Accused of corruption and embezzlement his trial began in absentia in Paris, France, this week. It is part of a clampdown by France on African dictators and their cronies who sink their ill-gotten gains into luxury assets in Europe. Pictured: Obiang aboard a private jet
Allegations: Prosecutors claim that between 2004 and 2011, Obiang, pictured with a submersible vessel decorated like a fish called a Sea Breacher, served as agriculture minister, and siphoned off as much as $115m through a bogus tax imposed on wood sales
Dark Knight: Mr Obiang has conceded a love of 'toys' – the Batmobile he is pictured driving (above) is rumoured to sell for $680,000 and carry jet engines that shoot out flames. His government salary, even today as vice-president, is reported to be below $100,000
Exotic holidays: Posts under the name Teddy Nguema, often using the hashtag #luxuryliving, reveals a life of astonishing wealth and privilege at a time when three quarters of the population of Obiang's tiny, oil-rich west African nation live below the poverty line
This week, a Paris court launched the trial in absentia of the president's son, accusing him of corruption, money laundering and embezzlement.
The trial is part of a wider-ranging clamp-down by France on African dictators and their cronies who are accused of sinking their ill-gotten gains into luxury assets in Europe.
Prosecutors supported by Transparency International and other campaigning NGOs claim that in nine years between 2004 and 2011, when he served as agriculture minister, Obiang siphoned off as much as $115m through a bogus tax imposed on wood sales.
His government salary, even today as vice-president, is reported to be less than $100,000.
Obiang allegedly spent his huge wealth by staying in Parisian palaces and later buying a mansion a stone's throw from the Champs Élysées that had gold and gem-encrusted taps, a disco room and a hair salon, court papers claim.
He is also alleged to have bought up to 15 cars totaling $6m and fine art worth $24m at the sale of Yves Saint Laurent's private collection.
A lawyer acting for the French government told an earlier pre-trial hearing Obiang had 'a compulsive need to buy'.
Obiang faces further sanction in Switzerland, where last year the authorities impounded 11 luxury cars including a Bugatti, four Ferraris, a Porsche, a Lamborghini and an Aston Martin that were parked at Geneva airport.
In 2014, he reached a deal with the US authorities to hand over some of his $70m assets there including a Malibu mansion, a Ferrari and a collection of Michael Jackson memorabilia – though he was allowed to keep his private jet and a crystal-encrusted glove the singer wore on his Bad tour.
The trial is expected to hear from witnesses including a former majordomo and governess who have alleged their employer came to Paris with suitcases full of cash and paid mainly in cash for luxury goods.
Obiang's lawyers insist he is 'not a big-time bandit' and should benefit from diplomatic immunity. 'He has always said that he earned the money legally in his country,' lawyer Emmanuel Marsigny said.
But William Bourdon, a campaigning lawyer representing Transparency International in the case who also sought to have Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet indicted, said he was 'part of a small club, a small but global club of corruptors'.
'Their common characteristic is they will never confess. Never. Have you ever heard of a global corruptor turn to his people, a hand over the heart, and tell them: 'I am sorry, I apologize'? No ... He's been using all possible legal tools to invalidate the trial,' he said.
Holidays: In 2014, he reached a deal in the US to hand over some of his $70m assets including a Malibu mansion, a Ferrari and a collection of Michael Jackson memorabilia – though he was allowed to keep his jet and a crystal-encrusted glove the singer wore on his Bad tour
James Bond submarine: Obiang allegedly stayed in Parisian palaces and bought a mansion close to the Champs Élysées which had gold and gem-encrusted taps, a disco room and a hair salon, court papers claim. Pictured: Submarine posted on his Instagram profile
Innocent: Obiang's lawyers insist he is 'not a big-time bandit' and should benefit from diplomatic immunity. 'He has always said that he earned the money legally in his country,' said his lawyer Emmanuel Marsigny. Pictured: Larking around in Malabo
William Bourdon, a campaigning lawyer representing Transparency International who have helped bring the trial against Obiang (posing with lions above), said he was 'part of a small club, a small but global club of corruptors'
Obiang's account offers a glimpse into the private life of the dynastic Obiang family, including a series of lavish celebrations including, this year, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in a Santa hat (above). Obiang was appointed by vice-president by his father
Mr Bourdon's legal team may now show pictures from Obiang's Instagram account in the trial to impress on the panel of judges that the absentee defendant has not repented despite the multiple investigations he is facing.
'If Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue is indeed at the origin of this account which seems to be the case, its content illustrates his outrageous lifestyle led with obvious disregard for any dignity or decency,' he said.
'It is impossible not to be left with the impression that he operates with absolute disdain for the public interest, that has already been deeply compromised in Equatorial Guinea, and which he is supposed to embody.
'The French investigations focus on events between 1997 and 2011 but these pictures and videos illustrate the issues the judges are due to deliberate on.'
Mr Marsigny declined to comment on his client's Instagram account.
Tutu Alicante, the head of Equatorial Guinea Justice, an anti-corruption campaign group based in Florida, US, said: 'One of our challenges as human rights organisations in Africa is addressing this strongman mentality.
'Young people look up to people like Teodoro Obiang and these sons of presidents who live these lavish lifestyles, they think it's cool, it's what they would do when they had money. They think if they support that party, or that person, one day they might be like that.'