The son of Equatorial Guinea’s leader was handed a 30-million-euro fine by a Paris court Monday on top of a suspended jail term for using public money to fund a jet-set lifestyle in Europe.
Teodorin Obiang, the son of Equatorial Guinea’s leader Teodoro Obiang Nguema, had been convicted in 2017 of embezzlement.
He had been handed a three-year jail term as well as the $32.9 million fine, with both sentences suspended.
Obiang, who is also vice president, challenged the penalty only to have the Paris appeals court return a heavier sentence on Monday by removing the suspended provision from the fine.
The notorious playboy fond of fast cars and Michael Jackson memorabilia was not in court for the ruling.
Obiang, 50, was put on trial on charges of using money plundered from his country’s state coffers to fund a jet-set lifestyle in France, where he bought a six-story mansion in an ultra-posh part of the capital.
The judges in his initial trial, which he did not attend, had ruled that his 107-million-euro mansion — which boasts a hammam, a disco and gold-plated taps — should be confiscated, along with other assets.
The case, initiated by anti-corruption NGOs, is one of three involving families of African leaders which campaigners hope signals a new willingness of French authorities to tackle money laundering.
Paris has long been a favored destination for the ill-gotten gains of wealthy figures linked to political leaders in Africa, particularly in France’s former colonies.
When investigators first raided the home, they hired trucks to haul away a fleet of Bugattis, Ferraris, a Rolls-Royce Phantom and other cars as evidence.