Stolen assets never pay

Stolen assets never pay

Stolen assets never pay

Support Transparency France in the struggle against impunity for the corrupt

Our cause

On 19 June our legal process against Teodrin Obiang, the Vice-President of Equatorial Guinea, opens in Paris. Obiang is suspected of accumulating a vast fortune from embezzled funds. To finance the costs of this historic process and make it possible to return the money to the victims, we need your help.

A palatial lifestyle

For a decade, Teodorin Obiang, son of the President of Equatorial Guinea, led a sumptuous lifestyle in Paris, Malibu and Brazil. Luxury cars, works of art, villas: No one seriously believes he acquired these goods in France on his salary as Minister of Agriculture and Forestry for a country where 76 per cent of the population lived in poverty in 2006. [1]

Transparency France is pushing for justice

In 2008, based on several reports and an initial police investigation, Transparency France and its lawyer William Bourdon commenced a legal battle that many considered lost before it had begun. Our aim: to return the stolen money to its rightful owners – the people of Equatorial Guinea.

After two years of struggle and numerous procedural roadblocks, the French judicial system recognised our right to take up the case and opened an investigation.

The revelations

 The investigation identified €200 million of assets acquired in France with embezzled funds. [2]

Between 2004 and 2011, almost €110 million from Equatorial Guinea’s Treasury was diverted to Teodorin Obiang’s personal account. [3]

Images of Obiang’s luxury cars impounded at his Parisan mansion offer a shocking contrast between the the Vice-President’s living conditions and those of his people back home.

The legal action

After a decade of proceedings and pitfalls, Teodorin Obiang will be tried in Paris from 19 June to 6 July.

We need you!

During the trial: Without your support, we won’t be able to cover all the costs of this extraordinary trial – from bringing in international witnesses to paying court fees. And it’s not an even playing field: Obiang’s defence can draw on many resources than we have.

After the trial: The funds seized from Obiang can’t be indefinitely frozen, so after the trial it will be critical to challenge the legal and practical constraints that would prevent the return of stolen assets to the people of Equatorial Guinea. With your help, we will publish a practical guide for future politicians and convene international experts to discuss practical solutions for the restitution of stolen assets to the rightful owners.

How your donation helps:

1. Ensure witnesses can get to the trial to testify (€4500)

Lawyers, journalists, businesspeople and activists often provide the most compelling testimony in corruption cases: but we need to get these people to Paris safely and house them during the trial.

2. Continue the fight to return the stolen funds to the victims (€5500)

 In June we’ll publish proposals on how to return the stolen assets, and in September we’ll gather international experts to develop concrete solutions and raise awareness among politicians about how to fix this problem.

 3. Raise awareness of this case in the general public (€2000)

 During the trial, we need to hold press conferences, publish videos and graphics, and showcase our progress on social media – your support can help us do that!

About us

Transparency France is the French chapter of Transparency International, a global movement with one vision: a world in which government, business, civil society and the daily lives of people are free of corruption. With more than 100 chapters worldwide and an international secretariat in Berlin, we are leading the fight against corruption to turn this vision into reality.