Following the appearance of important, politically exposed Equatoguinean figures in the largest leak of 11, 9 million offshore documents led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) also known as the Pandora Papers.
Figures such as; the director of GEpetrol, Antonio Oburu Ondo, the former footballer, Juan Epitie Djowe Roig and the majority shareholder of GE Offshore Marines Services SL, Quintin Moreno Arroyo have all been mentioned. More than 600 journalists from 120 media outlets around the world have also uncovered two new names closely linked to that of Santiago Nsobeya Efuman.
Santiago Nsobeya Efuman (1949-2020) is a key figure in the two dictatorial periods that Equatorial Guinea has known. He was also the father of the two siblings, Silvia Lorena Nsobeya Barreiros and Santiago Nsobeya Barreiros, who are the protagonists of this fourth issue of the Pandora papers being published by Diario Rombe since October 3.
The heirs of the system
It is a known practice that the sons of high officials in Equatorial Guinea’s regime use their influence to take over most of the country’s businesses, and thus prolong the corrupt trail inherited from their progenitors and the system. This is also the case of the two Nsobeya Barreiros siblings.
Silvia Lorena Nsobeya (1986) is a well-known woman in Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo’s political circle and regime. She has recently been appointed head of the Department of Human Resources, Personnel Training and Logistics for the VII Congress of the Equatoguinean dictator’s party. Which is scheduled for November 22, 23 and 24. Although no further information about her business dealings has come to light, this is not the case for her brother.
Santiago Nsobeya Barreiros has held important positions as director general of revenue collection for the current government. In the last government reshuffle, the dictator appointed the son of the late Santiago Nsobeya Efuman deputy minister of Civil Service and Administrative Reform.
The ‘offshore’ structure of the Nsobeya’s.
Between 2012 and 2015, Silvia Lorena Nsobeya Barreiros was a beneficiary of Bartleby Investments LLC. A company incorporated in Delaware, one of the US tax havens frequented by celebrities, politicians, athletes, businessmen and politically exposed officials to hide their wealth.
At the age of 26 while still a student, Lorena Nsobeya hired the offshore services of SFM Corporates Services SA to register Bartleby Investments LLC as a service company for foreign companies wishing to establish themselves in Equatorial Guinea.
According to the documentation provided by Sylvia, the daughter of the man who while living formed part of the two cruelest dictatorships ever known to Central Africa, she resided in a property in Zaragoza (Spain), where she allegedly used her offshore company to invoice «consulting services in tax, labor, financing and investments in Equatorial Guinea».
This is reflected in a document called «Beneficial Owner statement» signed by Silvia Lorena Nsobeya Barreiros on October 23, 2012. In this statement, the then beneficiary of Bartleby Investments LLC, would also provide accounting and auditing services in accordance with the OHADA regulation (system of corporate law and implementation institutions adopted by 17 African countries including Equatorial Guinea). In the same document, it also states that Silvia Lorena Nsobeya Barreiros granted powers of attorney to the firm SFM Corporates Services to do the same with «legitimate personal funds or assets».
In addition, Silvia Lorena Nsobeya Barreiros recorded in the «Beneficial Owner statement» that Bartleby Investments LLC would invest its profits in financial and real estate assets not only in territories such as Equatorial Guinea but also in Western Europe and North America. «Likewise, the company will invest funds in projects to be carried out in Equatorial Guinea by financing entrepreneurial activity within the country,» reads the document that is part of Pandora papers.
On his part, Deputy Minister of Civil Service and Administrative Reform, Santiago Nsobeya Barreiros appears as a beneficiary of Dragonix Ltd at least between the years of 2015 and 2017, as revealed by invoices issued by Geneva-based law firm SFM Corporates Services SA. Dragonix Ltd. is a company registered in Ras al-Kaimah, one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. Diario Rombe tried unsuccessfully to contact Santiago Nsobeya Barreiros and his sister, Silvia Lorena Nsobeya Barreiros. Via Whatsapp, Diario Rombe sent a questionnaire of questions to Santiago Nsobeya to grant them the opportunity to comment on our findings, however, when he received our questions, Santiago immediately blocked us.
On October 18, Accountability Equatorial Guinea president Pedro Ondo Ondo Angono addressed a letter to the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Ivanova Gueorguieva, asking the international body to demand that the government of Teodoro Obiang Nguema «comply without delay with whatever mechanisms of investigation, accountability and transparency it will adopt against the officials involved in the Pandora Papers».
According to the letter accessed by Diario Rombe, Accountability Equatorial Guinea reminds the international organization of the economic and social consequences of the presence of Equatoguinean politically exposed officials in the leaked documents of the well-known Pandora Papers. However, in the face of this scandal, Accountability Equatorial Guinea points out, the authorities of Teodoro Obiang’s regime «have not even made a statement».