LONDON UK. Authorities in Brazil have seized more than $16m worth of cash and luxury watches from a delegation accompanying Teodorin Nguema Obiang, vice-president of Equatorial Guinea.
The 48-year-old millionaire, known for his lavish taste, is the son of the oil-rich Central African country’s president. The Equatorial Guinea embassy in Brazil reportedly told police that Mr Obiang was in the country for medical treatment.
Brazil limits people from entering the country with more than $2,400 in cash.
What was the money for?
The 11-man entourage – travelling on a government plane – landed in Viracopos International Airport in Campinas in Sao Paulo on Friday, according to media reports.
Police found $1.5m in cash and watches worth an estimated $15m in two bags, the other 17 bags had clothes, says local news site Globo.
Global reports that Equatorial Guinea’s embassy told the Brazilian police in a statement that the money was for Mr Obiang’s use on an onward trip to Singapore, while the watches – engraved with his initials – were for his personal use.
Mr Obiang was the only member of the delegation who had diplomatic immunity as the group was not on an official mission, Globo reports. Police searched other delegation members as Mr Obiang waited outside in a car, it added.