How France is prosecuting foreign tyrants and their families


France is on a mission to prosecute foreign leaders and their families accused of stealing public funds in their impoverished homeland to fund their luxurious lifestyles abroad.

Published: Sep 7, 2022 17:01 CEST

French police raid the Paris residence of Théodorin Obiang Manguet, son of Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Obiang, as part of a corruption probe on February 14, 2012 – (Photo by ERIC FEFERBERG / AFP)

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of Paris upheld the conviction of Rifaat al-Assad, the uncle of the Syrian president. He was found guilty in one of a landmark series of “unfair advantage” cases.

So far, here’s a roundup of celebrities wiped out in three oil-rich African countries and a survey focused on Syrian royalty.

bugatti and top bottle

In September 2011, French investigators raided the six-story Paris mansion of Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Obiang Nguema after complaints from anti-corruption activists and found 11 luxury cars, including a Bugatti and a Ferrari. He took away the cars, nine of which were later put up for auction. off.

A year after the raid, they seized property on the chic Avenue Foch near the Arc de Triomphe, taking valuables including paintings by famous artists, watches estimated to be worth three million euros, and wine worth thousands of euros a bottle. Removed.

Obiang’s eldest son, Theodorine Obiang, is under investigation for being a millionaire known for his love of Michael Jackson memorabilia.

At the time, he was Vice President of Equatorial Guinea, a country his father has ruled with an iron fist since 1979.

In 2014, young Obiang was indicted for corruption and embezzlement. He denies the charges, arguing that he amassed his wealth legally and enjoys diplomatic privileges, but France’s Supreme Court ruled that the charges were valid because they only related to his private life. I have ruled that there is.

In 2020, he was sentenced to three years’ suspended prison sentence and a fine of €30 million. He is appealing his judgment.

Obiang was also forced to confiscate millions of dollars of assets in the United States and was sanctioned by the United Kingdom.

bongo and sass nugesso

In 2015, the family of Congo-Brazzaville President Dennis Sass Nuggesso came into the spotlight after a magistrate seized several properties suspected to belong to his nephew, Wilfrid Nuggesso. .

A year later, two Paris apartments registered in the name of Sass Nuggesso’s wife Antoinette were also seized as part of an investigation into alleged corruption.

In 2017, Wilfrid Nuggesso was charged with laundering embezzlement proceeds, and two years later, one of the president’s sons, Dennis Christel Sassou Nuggesso, was also charged with similar charges.

In 2016, investigators focused on properties owned by families of neighboring Gabon’s late leaders, including a villa in Nice and a Paris townhouse linked to Omar Bongo, who was president for 41 years.

In 2017, that investigation closed without any charges being filed.

But a new chapter will begin in 2021 when BNP Paribas Bank is indicted for “laundering corruption and embezzling public funds” in a Bongo asset probe. The French bank recognizes its ‘shortcomings’ but disputes its ‘wrongful intentions’.

In March and April 2022, Omar Bongo’s four children were indicted for covering up embezzlement of public funds.

A further five of his 54 children were indicted in June and July for knowingly profiting from an estimated €85 million of French property that Bongo “fraudulently” acquired in France. rice field.

Assad’s uncle

Rifaat al-Assad, dubbed the “Hama killer” for his alleged role in quelling riots in central Syria in 1982, has been under investigation in France since 2014.

He is on trial for crimes allegedly committed between 1984 and 2016, including aggravated tax fraud and embezzlement of Syrian funds.

He was acquitted from 1984 to 1996, but was convicted of money laundering embezzled from Syrian public funds between 1996 and 2016. He was also found guilty of tax evasion.

In 2021, the Paris Court of Appeal upheld the ruling and ordered the seizure of an estimated €90 million in assets, including two townhouses, a stud farm, about 40 apartments and a chateau in a chic district of Paris. .

France’s Supreme Administrative Court upheld the conviction on Wednesday. How France is prosecuting foreign tyrants and their families

Show More
Back to top button