By John Ikani
The US Justice Department says $26.6m (£20m) seized from Equatorial Guinea’s Vice-President, Teodorin Nguema Obiang Mangue will be spent on Covid vaccines and other medical programmes in the West African state.
“Wherever possible, kleptocrats will not be allowed to retain the benefits of corruption,” an official said in a statement.
Obiang was forced to sell a mansion in Malibu, California, a Ferrari and various Michael Jackson memorabilia as part of a settlement he reached with the US authorities in 2014 after being accused of corruption and money-laundering. He denied the charges.
The agreement stated that $10.3m of the money from the sale would be forfeited to the US, and the rest would be distributed to a charity or other organisation for the benefit of the people of Equatorial Guinea, the justice department said.
The UN is to receive $19.25m to purchase and administer Covid vaccines to at least 600,000 people in Equatorial Guinea, while a US-based charity is to get $6.35m for other medical programmes in Equatorial Guinea.