Kleptocrat Dictators: US vs. Samuel Mebiame

Equatorial Guinea Teodoro Nguema Settled Kleptocracy Case in US in 2014

  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

They loot their countries, swim in a sea of wealth and orgies farther from their homelands,  mostly in Western foreign lands, especially the United States, while their people are starving or dying from easily preventable diseases, and their killing squads are brutally murdering those who dare to speak up against corruption, embezzlement and tyranny.

"They" are tyrants and corrupt foreign leaders and their relatives. Some of the most notorious are from Africa. The latest case, involving Samuel Mebiame,  the son of the late Gabon Prime Minister Leon Mebiame, highlights the extent of corruption and kleptocracy in Africa.

Samuel Mebiame, 43, is accused of acting as a fixer for a joint-venture involving the hedge fund Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC.  Based on the case, U.S. v. Mebiame, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, No. 16-cr-00627,  unveiled on December 8, 2016, Samuel  Mebiame  gave cash to and bought cars for two officials in Niger,  an S-Class Mercedes Benz sedan to a Guinean official and rented private Airbus jet to a Guinean official. He also financed  travels and shopping sprees for an top adviser to Chad's president. For his services, Samuel Mebiame was paid at least $3.5 million through 2012 for his work.

Samuel Mebiame is accused of serving as a "fixer" for a mining company, allegedly based in South Africa,  owned by a joint venture between Och-Ziff  Capital Management and an entity incorporated in the Turks and Caicos Islands. In September 2016, Och-Ziff Capital Management and its chief executive, Daniel Och, agreed  to pay $412 million and $2.17 million, respectively, for  bribing officials in several African countries, including Niger, Libya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Guinee, in violation of the  US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Commenting on the Och-Ziff case, Robert L. Capers, the United States attorney in Brooklyn, stated that “despite knowing that bribes were being paid to senior government officials, Och-Ziff repeatedly funded corrupt transactions.”

Arrested in August 2016 and held without bail, Samuel Mebiame faces  a maximum of 5 years in jail and will be sentenced in April 2017.