Wednesday 12 August 2020

Superyacht seized in Den Helder port as part of corruption probe

A 75 meter long superyacht, worth €113m, has been placed in sequestration in Den Helder port after a judge in Zwolle ruled that the vessel be held while its owner is investigated under charges of corruption in Switzerland and France.

The ‘Ebony Shine’ is owned by Teodoro Obiang, son of the long-serving president of the tiny West African state of Equitorial Guinea, the NRC said on Friday.

Teodoro Obiang is being charged on a number of points including money laundering and stealing from the state treasury. The yacht was seized while it was in a Den Helder dockyard for regular maintenance. Obiang claims it is the property of the state of Equitorial Guinea.

Obiang serves as vice president of the country and has an annual salary of €100,000. Equitorial Guinea has a population of 800,000 and is a former colony of Spain.

The vessel, built by Feadship in Makkum, has two jaccuzis, a spa, a pool and gym, a helipad, several jetskis and a cinema seating 12.

Equatorial Africa is one of the richest countries in Africa due to its oil income which amounts to about €3.7bn a year. Only 2% of of this goes for health care and 3% to education. Apart from a small elite, most of the country lives on less than €2 a day.

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