posted by www.equatorialguineaonline.com
MBABANE – A lead on a suspect who stole the US$2.5 million (about E17.5 million) belonging to visiting Equatorial Guinea Minister Teodoro Nguema Obi-ang Mangue has emer-ged.
Sources within the five-star Royal Villas, where the money was stolen, have alleged that the closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras show a man of Asian origin jumping over the fence next to the Sultan Suite where the King’s guest was staying and entering the villa before exiting with a suitcase.
The sources said the man is seen on the CCTV jumping over the fence with the suitcase and disappearing into the thick of the night.
“No one among the Royal Villas employees is a suspect now because the CCTV cameras have shown an Indian man walking inside the minister’s suite empty-handed but then coming out carrying a suitcase. The man entered the premises by jumping over the fence and also left the same way,” a reliable source said.
Teodoro, as the minister is also referred to, was booked into the E25 000 per night Sultan Suite which is situated at the far end of the luxurious resort and is close to the fence that marks the boundaries.
It has been reported by the source that the money was stolen while a party that Teodoro had thrown was going on but it is suspected that he was asleep at the time.
“It is suspected that the person seen on the CCTV could be one of the people who attended the party and is one of the minister’s friends,” sources said.
Yesterday morning, police officers, led by Musa Zwane, were seen entering the Sultan Suite with one of the Royal Villas’ security guards to conduct further investigations.
Zwane, after having finished investigations at the Sultan Suite, was seen entering the guard house at the main gate and viewing unidentified footage on a television set.
Other officers, including Lukhozi Serious Crimes Unit officer Solo Mavuso, who handled the case of serial killer David Simelane, were also found at the Royal Villas.
Among the policemen, there was also an officer identified as ‘Morocco’ who is known to be a fingerprint expert.
Just like on Wednesday when the story broke, security guards at the resort yesterday kicked the Times team off the Royal Villas premises without explanation.
Police PRO Superintendent Wendy Hleta said police were still busy conducting investigations over the matter but no suspect had been identified as yet.
Hleta confirmed that the minister formally reported the theft of the US$2.5 million (E17.5 million) to the police.
He reported the matter on Wednesday.
“The police only heard yesterday morning about the theft,” Hleta said.
Asked if the police knew about the party that the King’s guest threw on the night the money was lost, Hleta replied: “We can’t speak about the party because we know nothing about it.”
Teodoro, who is touted as the next President of Equatorial Guinea, was in the country as a special guest of His Majesty King Mswati III and sat beside the monarch during the main day of the annual Reed Dance Ceremony at the Ludzidzini Royal Residence on Monday.
The son of Equatorial Guinea President Brigadier General Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Teodoro is described as the world’s richest Minister of Agriculture.
He is reported to own a US$30 million (about E210 million) estate in Malibu, California although he earns a ministerial salary of US$5 000 (about E35 000).
Meanwhile popular social network Facebook was abuzz with the story yesterday, with many people reacting with shock.
…this is a serious political matter – A.T
MBABANE – The theft of $2.5 million (E17.5 million) belonging to Equatorial Guinea Minister of Agriculture Teodoro Ngue-ma Obiang Mangue is a serious political matter.
This was said by former Premier Absalom Themba Dlamini who is Managing Director of Tibiyo TakaNgwane, the owners of Royal villas, where the money was stolen.
“This is a sensitive matter because it’s not an ordinary person who is involved. It is now being handled at a higher level,” Dlamini said.
A.T, as he is also referred to, said they were still shocked by the incident and refused to talk about the matter any further because they were tight-lipped (sifake ingubo emlonyeni).
“I cannot comment at this stage because this is a sensitive issue. We’re not happy about it. Let’s let the police do their investigations and let’s not disturb them. This matter is sensitive to the two countries’ relations. We don’t want to interfere with investigations,” Dlamini said.