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World - Africa Updated: January 17, 2023

Equatorial Guinea: President's Son Arrested Over Sale Of National Plane

By Rasheed Olajide Awoniyi
January 17, 2023
President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
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The Son of Equatorial Guinea's president, Ruslan Obiang Nsue, has been apprehended and placed under house arrest on suspicion of selling a plane belonging to the country's national airline, state television (TVGE) said on Tuesday.

The ATR 72-500 aircraft, which belonged to Ceiba Intercontinental and was in 2018 in normal maintenance in Spain, vanished, and the police launched an inquiry at the end of November, according to TVGE.

The same source claims that Obiang Nsue would have "sold the ATR aircraft to the business Binter Technic," which is situated in Las Palmas on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria and specializes in aviation repair.

Former secretary of state for youth and sports, now director of Ceiba Airpor,t Ruslan Obiang Nsue, was originally deputy director of Ceiba Intercontinental before becoming managing director.

"Ruslan Obiang has confessed that he was the person who sold Ceiba's ATR, I will not allow myself to be carried away by familialism or favouritism, which is why I have ordered his immediate arrest and handing him over to justice," his half-brother, Vice President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, nicknamed "Teodorin", said.

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Teodorin Obiang was given a final sentence by the French judiciary at the end of July 2021, which included a three-year prison term with a suspended sentence, fines totalling 30 million euros, and the confiscation of his French assets for defrauding accumulating a lavish patrimony as part of the "ill-gotten gains" cases.

Following anti-corruption investigations, London additionally seized his financial assets in the U.K. and issued a travel restriction in July 2021.

Malabo then protested the decision by closing its embassy there.

For a member of the president's family in the small, oil-rich nation of central Africa, Ruslan Obiang Nsue's detention is unprecedented.

The disappearance of the aircraft and its purported sale by Obiang Nsue in December of last year provoked uproar across the country.

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President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea has been in power for more than 43 years and was recently re-elected for a sixth seven-year term.

He now holds the record for the longest tenure of any living head of state, excluding monarchs, in the world.

According to the World Bank, Equatorial Guinea has the third-highest GDP per capita in sub-Saharan Africa as of 2021.

However, it was 172nd out of 180 nations on the Transparency International corruption index.

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Rasheed Olajide Awoniyi

Rasheed is a Prolific Content Writer who also has a niche in all Genres of Literature, Academic Pape...

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