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Illicit Financial Flows: The Elephant in the Room at the EU-Africa Summit
April 2nd, 2014
EUAfricasummit(notext)This piece originally appeared on the websites of EurActiv and The Africa Report$35 million mansion in California, artwork totaling €18 million, and a $38 million dollar private jet. These sound like items purchased by the world’s wealthiest oligarchs, right? Well, they were actually acquired by Teodorin Obiang, son of President Teodoro Obiang of Equatorial Guinea. When his father convenes with other leaders for this week’s EU-Africa summit, a wide range of topics will be covered. But there’s one issue in particular that should be given a loudspeaker during the talks in...
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Global Witness's Charmian Gooch at TED Global: Meet global corruption's hidden players
July 8th, 2013
When the son of the president of a desperately poor country starts buying mansions and sportscars on an official monthly salary of $7,000, Charmian Gooch suggests, corruption is probably somewhere in the picture. In a blistering, eye-opening talk (and through several specific examples), she details how global corruption trackers follow the money -- to some surprisingly familiar faces.
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Ghostbusting: phantom firms and dodgy deals
March 21st, 2013
Phantom Firms are what enabled Teodorin Obiang, the son of the President of Equatorial Guinea, to launder more than $100 million into the USA. This financed a playboy lifestyle of fast cars, a $30 million mansion, a $38.5 million gulfstream jet, and various pieces of Michael Jackson memorabilia, including a diamond-encrusted glove from the Bad Tour. Meanwhile, back home in the oil-rich west African state, more than 1 in 7 children under the age of five were dying from a preventable disease.
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Shruti Shah: A case for more integrity in the financial sector
January 22nd, 2013
Shruti Shah of Transparency International-USA wrote a great op-ed on Devex last week. Ms. Shah connects the dots between the crimes committed at HSBC, the influx of money to the United States from kleptocrats like Teodorin Obiang, and the hundreds of thousands of anonymous shell corporations created every year in the United States. The result? Individuals are able to use the United States and its institutions to, "export, launder and conceal ill-gotten gains" derived from corruption.
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