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Teodoro Nguema Obiang loses his Malibu mansion

Exterior of Malibu home U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement A 2011 photo provided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers shows the exterior of the Malibu home of Teodoro Nguema Obiang, the second vice president of Equatorial Guniea.

Exterior of Malibu home — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
A 2011 photo provided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers shows the exterior of the Malibu home of Teodoro Nguema Obiang, the second vice president of Equatorial Guniea.

It may be a drop in the bucket, but the Obiang family will forfeit personal property in the U.S. as part of a corruption settlement.

From the Los Angeles Times:

In a settlement filed in U.S. district court in Los Angeles, Equatorial Guinea Second Vice President Teodoro Nguema Obiang agreed to give up a $30-million house with a view of the ocean, a collection of Michael Jackson memorabilia and other property, including a Ferrari, to settle corruption claims by federal prosecutors.

The settlement with Obiang, who is the son and heir apparent to the nation’s president, is part of an expanding Justice Department effort — officials call it the “Kleptocracy Initiative” — to crack down on corrupt foreign officials who steal money and use it to live the high life in the U.S.

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Oil vs. fishing in Ghana — the conflicts continue

Takoradi fishing port. Photo by Christiane Badgley

Takoradi fishing port. Photo by Christiane Badgley

It has been ages since I’ve posted anything here (more on that below), but it seems that nothing much has changed — at least not for the fishing communities of Western Ghana. I first reported on conflicts between fishermen and Ghana’s new oil industry more than three years ago. Since then, oil exploration and drilling have increased, and the situation for fishermen has deteriorated. In the last few months three reporters have contacted me to talk about conflicts between fishing and oil.

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Tullow’s tax disclosures torpedo Big Oil’s campaign for secrecy

Tullow Oil from Ghana to Uganda. Photo by Christiane Badgley

Tullow Oil, Ghana. Photo by Christiane Badgley

From Global Witness:

UK oil company becomes the world’s first extractive firm to publish revenue payments to governments by project

March 24, 2014

The UK company Tullow Oil today became the world’s first extractive firm to publish details of its revenue payments to governments broken down by each project the company operates worldwide. The disclosures, released today in Tullow’s annual report, show the taxes, royalties, licence fees and other public revenues generated by the company’s operations across 21 countries – 14 of which are in sub-Saharan Africa – for the years 2012 and 2013.

Tullow’s voluntary disclosures are being released in advance of a new EU law, due to come into force in the UK in 2015, that will require EU oil, mining and logging companies to publish their payments to governments on a project-by-project basis. These detailed disclosures will enable citizens in economically poor but resource-rich regions to monitor public revenues worth hundreds of billions of dollars and hold governments to account for how the money is used.

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    Oil...A Pipeline to Prosperity?

    Oil…A Pipeline to Prosperity?

    I have produced a short film for PBS/Frontline World to mark the 10th anniversary of World Bank engagement in the Chad-Cameroon Oil Development and Pipeline Project. The film, “Cameroon: Pipeline to Prosperity?” revisits the story of the “model” oil for development project. Ten years ago the oil companies and the World Bank promised that this project would break the resource curse and prove to the world that oil could be a force for good…

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