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Anti-Graft Group Calls for Probe Into Equatorial Guinea Ruler's Son


Anti-graft watchdog Global Witness is calling on U.S. officials to probe the purchase of a $35 million home in California by Equatorial Guinea's agriculture and forestry minister.

The organization Wednesday questioned how Teodoro Nguema Obiang can afford to buy the residence on a $60,000 annual salary.

Global Witness official Sarah Wykes says the case would be a good test for an American initiative enacted in August to eliminate graft by foreign public officials. The program allows for asset seizure and travel bans against offenders.

Teodoro Nguema Obiang, whose father rules Equatorial Guinea, has also been accused in South Africa of using government money to buy two luxury homes in Cape Town. Obiang has denied the charges.

Equatorial Guinea is one of Africa's top oil-producing countries. The nation brings in some three billion dollars in oil revenues annually, but much of its population still lives in poverty.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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