"Following an investigation, we found a suspicious and fraudulent situation," said Finance Minister Miguel Egonga Obiang as he announced the claim for 48 billion CFA francs. According to him Total’s fraudulent dealings for which they are seeking the damages occurred with the sale of fuel between 2010 and 2012.
A potential president for life: Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema
The state television confirmed that during a meeting held between both parties last Monday (August 21), the government demanded that Total presented a proposal for settlement.
Total's management in Equatorial Guinea did not reply to repeated requests for comment.
The country, Africa's only Spanish-speaking nation, has become the continent's number three oil producer but experts say the vast majority of the population has not benefitted from the energy revenue boom.
As the country demands the settlement from Total, French prosecutors are seeking a three-year jail term and a €30 million ($34 million) fine for Equatorial Guinea's Vice President Teodorin Obiang, on trial in absentia for embezzlement.
The 48-year-old son of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema is charged with using money plundered from his country's state coffers to fund a jet-set lifestyle in France, where he bought a six-storey mansion in an ultra-posh part of Paris.