- Current Issue
SIGN IN to access the Harper’s archive
ALERT: Usernames and passwords from the old Harpers.org will no longer work. To create a new password and add or verify your email address, please sign in to customer care and select Email/Password Information. (To learn about the change, please read our FAQ.)
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:
Lucas Mann on hope and change in a minor-league-baseball city
Minimum number of baboons forced to smoke crack in a 1989 study testing the efficacy of cigarettes as a drug delivery device:
A reduction in distrust toward atheists was documented among pious Canadians who are reminded of the Vancouver police.
A Missouri cinema apologized for hiring an actor dressed in body armor and carrying a fake rifle to appear at a screening of Iron Man 3.
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
Winner of the 2012 Olivier Rebbot Award for best photographic reporting from abroad in magazines or books