Equatorial Guinea’s Vice President investigated in Brazil for alleged money laundering

Brazil’s Federal Police (PF) announced it is investigating a case of alleged money laundering in which the main suspect is the Vice-President of Equatorial Guinea, the newspaper Folha de São Paulo reported.

Brazilian authorities did not name Teodoro Nguema Obiang, also known as Teodorín, but announced Tuesday they had begun “Operation “#LuxuryLiving” to obtain evidence of the practice of money laundering in Brazil by a politically exposed foreign person,” according to a statement posted on the PF website.

Five search warrants were served, one in Paris, two in Lisbon and two in Zurich.

“In Portugal, the warrants were served in collaboration with the Portuguese Judicial Police and the Portuguese Public Prosecutor’s Office, and in Switzerland with the authorities of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Confederation and the police of that country,” the PF said.

At stake is the purchase, in 2007, of an apartment in the prime zone in the Brazilian city of São Paulo, worth 15.6 million reais (2.77 million euros at the current exchange rate).

Brazilian authorities suspect that the apartment was purchased through offshore shell companies in order to cover up public money diverted from the country.

“The measures carried out constitute the second phase of the investigation called “Salvo Conduto””, initiated by the PF in October 2018.

The investigation aims, in summary, among other facts, to ascertain the “acquisition, reform and concealment of a high luxury apartment located in São Paulo”, acquired by “interposed foreign shell companies (shell companies), with potentially illicit resources,” the PF added in the same note.

In 2018, Brazilian authorities seized 13.8 million euros in cash and luxury watches from the vice president of Equatorial Guinea.

At the time, Teodorin’s entourage was traveling with suitcases containing 20 diamond-encrusted watches valued at about 13 million euros and another 800,000 euros in cash, seized at Viracopos Airport in Campinas, in the state of São Paulo.

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Khalid Al Mouahidi : A binational from the US and Morocco, Khalid El Mouahidi has worked for several american companies in the Maghreb Region and is currently based in Casablanca, where he is doing consulting jobs for major international companies . Khalid writes analytical pieces about economic ties between the Maghreb and the Mena Region, where he has an extensive network