Equatorial Guinea Shuts Down UK Embassy

Sanction: Equatorial Guinea Shuts Down UK Embassy (News Central TV)

Equatorial Guinea, the only Spanish-speaking country in sub-Saharan Africa has announced Monday it was closing its embassy in London after Britain sanctioned son of its long-serving president over charges of corruption.

Foreign Minister Simeon Oyono Esono said “the first decision that the government has taken is the total closure of our diplomatic mission in London”

“We do not accept interference in our country’s domestic affairs,” he said, describing the sanctions on vice president Teodorin Nguema Obiang as “breaching the principle of international law”.

Equatorial Guinea’s vice president Teodorin Nguema Obiang

On Thursday, Britain hit Obiang, Equatorial Guinea’s vice president and son of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema with sanctions, for allegedly laundering state assets into his own bank accounts.

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The British Foreign Office said the younger Obiang had made corrupt contracting arrangements and solicited bribes to support his flamboyant lifestyle.

Last year, a French court ordered Obiang to pay a $32.9 million fine in a year-long embezzlement process launched by a group of anti-corruption NGOs.

It alleged he had splurged $500 million (425 million euros) on mansions around the world, luxury cars and a collection of Michael Jackson memorabilia including a $275,000 crystal-covered glove that the singer wore on his 1987-89 “Bad” tour.

 Equatorial Guinea’s ruler Obiang, 79, is the world’s longest-serving sitting president, after ousting his uncle Francisco Macias Nguema in 1979. Nguema had ruled the country since independence from Spain in 1968, and was shot by firing squad.

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Teodorin Obiang is one of five foreigners who were targeted last Thursday in the second wave of a British crackdown on corruption. The sanctions entail the freezing of assets and a bar on entry to the United Kingdom.

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