The central African state of Equatorial Guinea has announced it was closing its embassy in London after Britain imposed sanctions against the son of its veteran president over corruption allegations.
“The first decision that the government has taken is the total closure of our diplomatic mission in London,” Foreign Minister Simeon Oyono Esono told state broadcaster TVGE on Monday.
He gave no details as to when the decision would take effect.
“We do not accept interference in our country’s domestic affairs,” he said, describing the sanctions as “breaching the principle of international law”.
On Thursday, Britain slapped sanctions on Teodorin Nguema Obiang, Equatorial Guinea’s vice president and son of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, for allegedly syphoning state assets into his own bank accounts.
The British Foreign Office said the younger Obiang had made corrupt contracting arrangements and solicited bribes to support his jet-setting lifestyle.
It alleged he had splurged $500 million on mansions around the world, luxury cars and a collection of Michael Jackson memorabilia including a $275,000 crystal-covered glove that the singer wore on his 1987-89 “Bad” tour.
The only Spanish-speaking country in sub-Saharan Africa, Equatorial Guinea is one of the most enclosed nations in the continent, and many of its people live in deep poverty despite oil wealth.
Its ruler Obiang, 79, is the world’s longest-serving sitting president and is frequently accused by rights groups of abuses.