UK sanctions Equatorial Guinea leader's son over "lavish lifestyle" spending


FILE PHOTO: Equatorial Guinea's Second Vice-President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue addresses attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. Headquarters in New York, September 30, 2015. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) -Britain on Thursday sanctioned the son of Equatorial Guinea’s president for misappropriating millions of dollars which London said was spent on luxury mansions, private jets and a $275,000 glove worn by Michael Jackson.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Teodoro Obiang Mangue, who is also vice president of Equatorial Guinea, had participated in "corrupt contracting arrangements and soliciting bribes, to fund a lavish lifestyle inconsistent with his official salary as a government minister".

The Equatorial Guinea government did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

Britain said Obiang had bought a $100 million mansion in Paris, a $38 million private jet, a luxury yacht, and dozens of luxury vehicles including Ferraris, Bentleys and Aston Martins.

The foreign ministry said he also bought "a collection of Michael Jackson memorabilia including a $275,000 crystal-covered glove that Jackson wore on his "Bad" tour.

His father President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has ruled Equatorial Guinea since taking power in a coup in 1979, eleven years after independence from Spain.

The country grew rich in the past few decades due to the exploitation of its oil reserves, but more than 76% of the population live in poverty, according to the World Bank.

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Kate Holton and Angus MacSwan)

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