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A tipster, who works on Rodeo Drive, says Teodoro Nguema Obiang, the Ferrari-driving big spender who plunders Equatorial Guinea’s oil wealth is dating a family member and just dropped $70,000 in one store on clothes for her. The insider, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of ending up in the infamous Black Beach prison in Equatorial Guinea, said Obiang regularly spends up to $200,000 in a day on frequent LA shopping sprees.
I recently reported here on the U.S. investigation into Obiang, and raised the question of why he had not been added to a State Department list of corrupt foreign officials that are supposed to be denied American visas. Perhaps Equatorial Guinea’s oil wealth and close relationship with ExxonMobil and other American energy firms has helped protect Obiang, whose father has ruled the African nation for decades.
I hear certain members of Congress are not very happy with the State Department and are asking why Obiang — his country’s environmental minister, AKA the minister of chopping down trees — continues to be allowed into the United States. A well-placed source tells me:
“There are senior congressional staff saying they are going after his visa. He may have a $35 million estate [in Malibu] but he may not have a visa to get in the country. There are also calls being made to the State Department, to the seventh floor [where Secretary Hillary Clinton has her office] and to the Africa bureau. Obiang is becoming toxic.”
I’ll update the situation as I learn more.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Number of free condoms handed out by the Brazilian government in advance of Carnival this year:
The best way to measure happiness is simply to ask people how happy they are.
Following three weeks of clashes between protesters and government forces that killed at least 17 people, Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro announced a two-day extension of Carnival. “Happiness will conquer the embittered,” he said during an appearance at a recreation center.
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“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”