100 Reporters Kleptocrat Watch Photo Contest

September 24th, 2012

100 Reporters, the cutting edge non-profit group of journalists focused on exposing corruption, is sponsoring a photography contest. Two years after Teodorin Obiang and the rest of the corrupt Equatorial Guinea regime were exposed for lavish spending in the United States, 100 Reporters is asking contestants for images of corruption in New York City, as world leaders gather at the United Nations.

Although many businesses in New York are happy for the jolt to the local economy that the visiting dignitaries bring, they may not realize that the diplomatic lush life comes at a cost. Hotel managers have described officials arriving for the week with briefcases laden with cash.

Over the last year, law enforcement agencies around the world have begun to investigate excessive spending by foreign government officials and, in extreme cases, moved to seize ill-gotten gains. French prosecutors and the U.S. Justice Department are going after the assets of Teodorin Obiang, the playboy son of Equatorial Guinea’s president. Obiang fils somehow amassed a fleet of super-expensive cars that include two Bugatti Veyrons, a Maserati, a Porsche and two Ferraris Bugattis, a $30 million mansion in Malibu and a $180 million mansion on Paris’s super-chic Avenue Foch. His official government salary? Less than $100,000.

“Even if you’ve never known poverty, you know honest public servants usually can’t spend like millionaires,” said Schemo. “So if you see them splurging at five-star hotels or heading to their limos with shopping bags in tow, take their pictures and win a prize. We’ll do the rest.”

Winners will be announced Friday, October 5, on the 100Reporters Facebook page.

If you are interested in the topic, I highly recommend also watching Scott Cohn’s excellent CNBC documentary, Filthy Rich. A clip of the documentary is located here.


Written by EJ Fagan

Follow @FinTrCo