Equatorial Guinea’s vice-president personally ordered the arrest of his half-brother, Ruslan Obiang Nsue, over allegations he sold a plane owned by the state airline, a government statement has said.
Both the vice-president and his half-brother are sons of President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue.
He is the world’s longest-serving president after 43 years in power.
Vice-President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue “expressed indignation” over the sale, the statement said.
Ruslan Obiang Nsue, a former director of the Ceiba International airline, sold the ATR72-500 without the approval of the company’s board to a Spanish company, authorities have said.
It is also alleged he pocketed the proceeds of the sale. He has not publicly commented on the allegations.
His half-brother ordered him to be put under house arrest and then transferred “to judicial custody,” the statement said.
“In addition, Nguema Obiang Mangue has proposed that the head of state suspend him from all his functions in the state company for orchestrating the sale of the ATR72-500,” it continued.
An investigation was ordered last year after an aircraft disappeared while undergoing maintenance in Spain, according to local media.
President Obiang has a strong grip on the oil-rich central African nation, with several family members in key government positions.
He seized power in 1979 from his uncle in a military takeover and has survived several coup attempts.
His eccentric son, who also serves as vice-president, is reportedly being groomed to succeed President Obiang.
The vice-president, known as “Teodorin” has enjoyed a lavish lifestyle in the US and Europe, and even owns an expensive crystal-covered glove which was once owned by Michael Jackson, according to the UK authorities.
In 2014, US authorities seized a $30m (£24m) mansion in Malibu and other assets, including a Ferrari car, saying they had been bought with the proceeds of corruption. —BBC