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Speaker's Footnotes

Relevant references and citations — with detailed annotations — provided to TED by Charmian Gooch.

  • 01:07

    Teodorin Obiang’s full name is Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue.

  • 01:10

    "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012: Equatorial Guinea," US State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, 2012

    Teodorin Obiang’s father is President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. According to a 2012 US State Department human rights report on Equatorial Guinea, following a military coup in 1979 the President "dominated all branches of government in collaboration with his clan and political party … In 2009 voters reelected President Obiang with a claimed 95.4 percent of votes cast. The lopsided results and weak independent monitoring of the electoral process raised suspicions of systematic vote fraud."

  • 01:17

    "Country Analysis Brief: Equatorial Guinea," US Energy Information Administration, February 28, 2012

    Equatorial Guinea became a significant oil exporter in the 1990s, and in 2005 supply peaked at 376,000 barrels per day. Nearly all oil production is exported.

  • 01:21

    "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012: Equatorial Guinea," US State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, 2012

    The US State Department’s 2012 Equatorial Guinea human rights assessment was damning, describing unlawful killings, police use of torture, official impunity, arbitrary arrest and restrictions on free speech.

  • 01:27

    "World Development Indicators for Equatorial Guinea," The World Bank, 2011

    According to the World Bank, the poverty headcount at the national poverty line is 76.8 percent of the population (based on 2006 data). Life expectancy at birth is 52 years (based on 2011 data).

  • 01:32

    "The World Factbook: Equatorial Guinea," Central Intelligence Agency, 2012

    According to 2012 information from the CIA Factbook, Equatorial Guinea, which ranks 58, has a GDP per capita of $26,500. Portugal, which ranks 64, has a GDP per capita of $23,000.

  • 01:37

    Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, "Keeping Foreign Corruption out of the United States: Four Case Histories," US Senate, February 4, 2010 (PDF)

    The Malibu house was named in a report by the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI). The report shows "how some [politically exposed persons] have used US lawyers, real estate and escrow agents, lobbyists, bankers and even university officials to circumvent US anti-money laundering and anti-corruption safeguards." One of the report’s case studies was of Teodorin Obiang. Regarding the Malibu house, the report states that "Mr. Obiang employed two US real estate agents … to buy and sell high-end California real estate, including a 2006 purchase of a $30 million residence in Malibu."

  • 01:50

    Maia de la Baume, "A French Shift on Africa Strips a Dictator’s Son of His Treasures," The New York Times, August 23, 2012

    According to an asset forfeiture complaint filed by the US Department of Justice in 2012, in 2010 Obiang spent over €18 million on 109 items acquired at the auction of Yves Saint Laurent’s estate. It was also reported in The New York Times that a forestry company owned by Obiang bought 109 items at the auction of the private art collection of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé.

  • 01:55

    Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, "Keeping Foreign Corruption out of the United States: Four Case Histories," US Senate, February 4, 2010 (PDF)

    As cited in the US Senate PSI report, according to press reports, on one weekend in 2005, Mr. Obiang purchased two Bentleys, a Lamborghini, and two multi-million dollar luxury houses in Cape Town, South Africa. As reported in The New York Times, in 2011 police in Paris seized 11 luxury cars belonging to Obiang including Bugattis and Ferraris, among other assets worth millions.

  • 01:58

    Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, "Keeping Foreign Corruption out of the United States: Four Case Histories," US Senate, February 4, 2010 (PDF)

    The Gulfstream jet is included in the US Senate PSI report. According to the report, a "US escrow company … facilitated Mr. Obiang’s purchase of a Gulfstream jet, again without a mortgage, by accepting $38.5 million in wire transfers from Equatorial Guinea."

  • 02:06

    According to the asset forfeiture complaint filed by the US Department of Justice in 2012, Obiang was Minister of Forestry and Agriculture and Minister of Forestry and Infrastructure from 1998 until May 20, 2012. He was then promoted to Second Vice President of Equatorial Guinea. The same document states that his official monthly salary was $6,799 as an Equatorial Guinea cabinet minister, according to official Equatorial Guinea sources.

  • 02:14

    "Energy Venture Partners vs. Malabu Oil and Gas," Royal Courts of Justice, July 17, 2013

    During this court case in the UK, Etete confirmed that he was appointed as petroleum minister in Nigeria in 1994, and held that position until Abacha’s death in June 1998.

  • 02:16

    Hector Igbikiowubo, "Money Laundering: French Court Hands Dan Etete Three Year Jail Term," Vanguard: Nigeria, November 7, 2007

    Etete was convicted of money laundering in France in 2007. The conviction was upheld in 2009 following appeal. During the UK court case mentioned above, Etete acknowledged that he was convicted for money laundering in France.

  • 05:08

    "Barclays account used by dictator’s son to buy €18m of artwork with suspect funds," Global Witness, June 22, 2011

    According to French police documents seen by Le Monde, Obiang used an account at Barclays to buy the YSL art collection.

  • 05:20

    This claim was made according to a presentation made by Walter Moran, special agent in charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Miami, Florida, to French investigators, and a letter from Stewart C. Robinson, deputy director of criminal division at the US Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs, also to French investigators, September 4, 2007. These were previously undisclosed documents from a joint Justice Department / Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigation, obtained by Global Witness and cited in our November 2009 report, “The Secret Life of a Shopaholic” (PDF). According to the presentation and letter, wire transfers of $73 million were sent "on behalf of" Obiang to the United States in a period of around a year, between April 5, 2005 and April 10, 2006. These claimed transfers involved American banks including Wachovia, Bank of America, UBS Bank in New York and others. According to the letter, investigators believe that "these funds were utilized to purchase a luxury home in Malibu, California, valued at approximately $35 million. … The home in Malibu was purchased in the name of a shell corporation, Sweetwater Management, Inc., of which Teodoro Nguema Obiang is listed as president.” Both these documents are also available.

  • 05:20

    US Department of Justice, "Request for assistance in the investigation of Teodoro Nguema Obiang and his associates," The New York Times, September 4, 2007

  • 05:28

    See details in an earlier note.

  • 05:33

    Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, "Keeping Foreign Corruption out of the United States: Four Case Histories," US Senate, February 4, 2010 (PDF)

    Obiang reportedly used an attorney to form two US shell companies in 2004 and 2005, one of which was used to pay household bills associated with Obiang’s residence at 3620 Sweetwater Mesa Road in Malibu, California. The bills included paying private security guards, butlers, chefs, drivers and other caretakers. Over seven months in 2007, $330,000 was paid for two bodyguards available 24 hours per day.

  • 05:49

    "Energy Venture Partners vs. Malabu Oil and Gas," Royal Courts of Justice, July 17, 2013

    Etete confirmed in the UK court case previously mentioned that he allocated rights to the oil block to Malabu Oil and Gas while he was Minister, but claimed he was not involved with Malabu until after he left office. Etete has denied ownership or control of Malabu Oil and Gas and claims he was hired as a consultant by Malabu, although according to an interim report finding of the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Etete was a 30 percent shareholder of Malabu via a proxy shareholder at the time it was set up. Court transcripts indicate that Etete was questioned extensively about his relationship to Malabu during the UK court case mentioned above, and was presented with various pieces of evidence which challenged his claims. For further briefings and press releases on this deal see the Global Witness website.

  • 05:59

    On April 29, 2011, subsidiaries of Shell and Eni signed an agreement (FGN Resolution Agreement) with the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) to be granted a license to oil block OPL 245. This agreement set out the history of the allocation of the block, which shows changes in ownership and disputed claims involving a subsidiary of Shell (Shell Nigeria Ultra-Deep Limited – SNUD), Malabu, and various legal claims against each other and against the Federal Government of Nigeria. The document states that, "FGN has entered into agreements of even date, respectively with MALABU and SNUD (The ‘Resolution Agreements’) … by which, MALABU has relinquished all claims to OPL 245 and agrees to all future actions which FGN may take under this FGN Resolution Agreement with respect to OPL 245." The agreement later states that a subsidiary of Eni, on behalf of itself, a subsidiary of Shell and the FGN, will "appoint an escrow agent for the purpose of paying to FGN … $1,092,040,000 for the purposes of FGN settling all and any existing claims and/or issues over Block 245." This agreement was included as an annex to a New York court case involving Malabu, International Legal Consulting Limited vs. Malabu Oil and Gas Limited. (Neither Shell, Eni, nor its subsidiaries were parties to this New York case.) Also included in this court case was a "resolution agreement" signed by Malabu and the FGN on April 29, 2011 (the same date as the previously mentioned agreement). According to this document, the FGN agreed to pay Malabu $1,092,040,000 and Malabu agreed to waive any and all claims to the block. Further, documents seen by Global Witness indicate that a few months later transfers were made, apparently by the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to Malabu’s bank account totaling $801,540,000.

  • 06:58

    Based on measurements of Intact Forest Landscapes in Sarawak from 2010, as mapped by Greenpeace/WRI, with additional subtractions for the Danum-Linau area to account for additional areas logged during 2011-12, as visible on Landsat satellite images. If updates were made to account for ongoing logging during 2011-12 in other areas, this figure would almost certainly be lower.

  • 07:13

    This is supported by various sources, for instance the press conference of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Prime Minister’s response in an Al Jazeera English TV interview, Global Witness’ undercover footage of members of the Chief Minister’s family, and corporate lawyers suggested by them, discussing how to make deals for land and forest areas involving setting up tax-efficient corporate vehicles in Singapore.

    See also:

    Daniel Faeh, “Development of Global Timber Tycoons in Sarawak, East Malaysia,” a report commissioned by Bruno Manser Funds, 2011;

    KS Jomo et al., Deforesting Malaysia, Zed Books, 2004;

    Peter Dauvergne, Shadows in the Forest: Japan and the Politics of Timber in Southeast Asia, MIT Press, 1997;

    R. A. Cramb, "Reinventing Dualism: Policy Narratives and Modes of Oil Palm Expansion in Sarawak," Conference of Canadian Council of Southeast Asian Studies, October 2007.

  • 07:18

    "Inside Malaysia’s shadow state," Global Witness

  • 07:21

    The secret footage can be viewed here.

  • 07:37

    This website shows the forestry functions of the Ministry of Resource Planning and Environment. Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud is the Minister of Resource Planning and Environment; he has various positions, some of which run concurrently, and has held one position since 1985.

  • 07:38

    See Global Witness’ film footage (mentioned in previous footnote). Global Witness’ investigator met with a range of Taib family members and associated individuals including corporate lawyers. See also the related Al Jazeera article.

  • 07:41

    Based on analysis commissioned by Global Witness reviewing publicly available information on the current operations of Sarawak’s major logging firms in Sarawak and abroad.

  • 07:50

    The region’s six largest logging companies by concession size, taken from publicly available data.

  • 07:52

    Based on Global Witness analysis. HSBC’s sustainability policy stated that all clients by 2009 would have to have 90 percent of concessions certified by FSC, PEFC or equivalent. Global Witness analysis of publicly available data from these certifying organizations’ websites shows this not to be the case. On May 23, 2013, HSBC issued a statement saying that in response to concerns raised by Global Witness it has publicly announced a full review of forest policy and compliance worldwide.

  • 07:56

    Global Witness considers this a conservative calculation. It does not include interest and fees on overdrafts, foreign exchange services, banking and cash-management and advisory services, other than for Samling Global Ltd’s initial public offering in 2007. It is based on financial charges to the forestry and oil palm subsidiaries of seven of the largest timber-plantation conglomerates in Sarawak, and/or their investment holding entities. It assumes an arrangement fee of three percent of the principal, as most charges are project financing or asset financing, and a fixed interest rate of three percent above the annual Base Lending Rate (BLR), set by Bank Negara. Though some later loans were to publicly listed entities (which may borrow at slightly lower rates linked to KLIBOR rate), the overwhelming majority of loans were to their private subsidiaries, who were likely to be borrowing at BLR-linked rates. Global Witness was only able to obtain historical BLR data from Bank Negara from 1997-present, and has modeled loans prior to this date on the historical average. See BLR-linked average lending rates here. Loans prior to 1989 are modeled on a seven percent rate, which is also the mean rate between 1989-2012. All amounts in US dollars based upon conversion rate at November 2012 (3.07 Malaysian Ringgit to 1 US dollar). See also the Global Witness report, “In the Future, There Will Be No Forests Left.”

  • 09:07

    Grand Corruption Database Project, "The Puppet Masters: How the Corrupt Use Legal Structures to Hide Stolen Assets and What to Do About It," The World Bank, 2011

    213 grand corruption investigations originating from 80 different countries were examined. It was found that 150 of these cases involved at least one corporate vehicle that concealed, at least in part, beneficial ownership information. In these 150 cases, the approximate total proceeds of corruption were $56.4 billion.

  • 09:14

    According to the Grand Corruption Database Project cited above (table B.3, page 121) the top jurisdictions for incorporation of the corporate vehicles involved were the United States, which incorporated 12.4 percent of the entities involved, followed closely by the British Virgin Islands, which incorporated 11.1 percent. 2.9 percent of the corporate vehicles involved were incorporated in the United Kingdom.

  • 09:36

    "Secret Sales," Global Witness, 2012

    Global Witness carried out extensive research and analysis on this topic, and produced memos containing full source references.

  • 09:40

    See the Global Witness memos mentioned above, which include references to corporate documents from the BVI.

  • 10:03

    See the Global Witness memos mentioned above and the Africa Progress Panel report in the following note.

  • 10:11

    Kevin Watkins et al., "Equity in Extractives," Africa Progress Panel, 2013

    The deals and the estimated $1.3 billion potentially lost in revenues are cited here.

  • 10:19

    Kevin Watkins et al., "Equity in Extractives," Africa Progress Panel, 2013

    As calculated by the Africa Progress Panel, based on government information about state expenditure in 2012, approximately $698 million in total were spent on health and education ($185 million for health plus $513 million on education). See footnote 105 in the report.

  • 11:03

    This figure is based on WTO and World Bank data for Asia, Africa, South and Central America and the Caribbean for 2011. Exports of fuels and minerals for these countries totaled $1,408,517,416,308; net ODA received totaled $74,907,570,000.

  • 11:42

    See the earlier note detailing the deal between subsidiaries of Shell and Eni and the Nigerian government.

  • 11:55

    See the earlier note detailing the deal between Malabu and the Nigerian government. In particular, the amount agreed to be paid to Malabu by the FGN, and documents showing the bulk of the money being transferred to Malabu.

  • 12:13

    "Shell knew that $1.1 billion payment was destined for convicted money launderer," Global Witness, March 11, 2013

    See the earlier note detailing the agreement between subsidiaries of Shell and Eni and the Nigerian government. The agreement implies that the money paid to the Nigerian government is to settle Malabu’s claims on the block. Additionally, in a formal statement issued by the Attorney General of Nigeria it was alleged that "SNUD [a Shell subsidiary] and ENI agreed to pay Malabu through the Federal Government acting as an obligor, the sum of $1,092,040,000 in full and final settlement of any and all claims, interests or rights relating to or in connection with Block 245." During the UK court case mentioned above, Etete also claimed in court that Shell and Eni agreed to pay Malabu, through the Federal Government acting as an obligor, the sum of just over $1 billion. In previous responses to Global Witness, Shell and Eni repeated that their agreements were with the Nigerian government and were in full compliance with the law.

  • 13:19

    "A Crude Awakening," Global Witness, December 1999

    Global Witness first called for oil and banking companies to make their payments transparent in this 1999 report.