Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang
Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang

French judges have issued an international arrest warrant for the son of Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang on money-laundering charges.

Teodorin Obiang Mangue, 41, who is agricultural minister in the oil-rich African country, is suspected of buying luxurious properties in France with embezzled state funds.

French police raided Obiang's luxurious multimillion pound mansion overlooking the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The 101-room palace contained a disco, a cinema, steam baths, sauna, hair salon, gold- and jewel-encrusted taps, a lift and pink marble dining room.

Police confiscated expensive property worth €40 million in total, including fine wines and artworks.

Among the artworks carted off were a Rodin statue and 10 Fabergé eggs.

Obiang Jnr denies any wrongdoing and previous attempts to question him were rejected by Oliver Pardo, a lawyer for the oil-producing nation.

"Unless one wishes to violate the sovereignty of the state of Equatorial Guinea and harm relations between France and Equatorial Guinea, it is absurd to want to launch an arrest warrant," he told Reuters.

Late last year, police seized 11 turbo-charged cars, including Bugattis, Ferraris, Maseratis and Porsches, that belonged to Obiang Jnr, who is known for his extravagant lifestyle.

The original complaint was brought by Transparency International, an anti-corruption campaign group that accuses several African leaders of misappropriating public funds.

Equatorial Guinea is one of Africa's largest oil exporters, producing 240,000 barrels of oil per day.