News September 30, 2019 at 04:30 pm

25 luxury cars seized from Equatorial Guinea leader’s son sell for $27 million at Swiss auction

Michael Eli Dokosi | Staff Writer

Michael Eli Dokosi September 30, 2019 at 04:30 pm

September 30, 2019 at 04:30 pm | News

25 luxury cars seized from Equatorial Guinea leader’s son sell for $27 million

Son of Equatorial Guinea president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema, has, upon entering a deal with Swiss authorities, had his luxury cars auctioned at the Swiss village of Cheserex.

The 25 cars included seven Ferraris, three Lamborghinis, five Bentleys, a Maserati and a McLaren.

Teodorin, who was appointed the country’s vice president in 2012, faced the Geneva prosecutor’s office in 2016 when investigated over money laundering and mismanagement of public assets in Equatorial Guinea.

A F McLaren P1 Coupe arrives for auction at the Bonmont Golf & Country Club. Photograph: Denis Balibouse/Reuters

Given that under the Swiss penal code, prosecutors can choose to drop charges if defendants offer compensation “and restore a situation that is in conformity with the law,” the prosecutor’s office wrapped up the case in February against Teodorin, the president Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and two others.

With the financial wrongdoing dropped, the Swiss authorities confiscated luxury cars in Teodorin’s collection.

On Sunday, at a golf club near Geneva, twenty-five of Teodorin’s cars, including Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bentleys and Rolls Royces, fetched about $27m (£21.9m; 26m Swiss francs) in total.

Teodorin Nguema Obiang Photograph: Jerome Leroy/AFP/Getty Images

Nearly $23m, per the agreement, is to be channelled to Equatorial Guinea for projects which will be of benefit to the masses.

His 2014 Lamborghini Veneno Roadster was sold for $8.3m to an anonymous buyer. According to British auctioneers Bonhams, it’s a new world record price for a Lamborghini sold at auction.

An Aston Martin One-77 Coupe sold for $1.5m with several supercars purchased by an agent for a collector in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, a Swiss bidder told Reuters news agency.

Aside from the Equatoguinean’s expansive cars going under the hammer, about 50 other cars were sold at the auction.

Teodorin and his father, who has been president since 1979, have been accused of living large at the expense of the people whose interest they are to serve.

Teodorin, 51, has come under criticism for squandering the state’s petroleum wealth on expensive cars, foreign trips and homes. However, due to the stranglehold his family has over the country, his illegal deeds go unpunished.

A Lamborghini Veneno Roadster at an auction preview in Cheserex near Geneva. Photograph: Denis Balibouse/Reuters

In October 2017, a Paris court handed him a three-year suspended jail term and a suspended fine of 30 million euros ($32.8m) after he was convicted of siphoning off public money to buy assets in France.

Last year, Brazilian officials said $16m in undeclared cash and luxury watches that were seized from a delegation accompanying Teodorin may have been part of an effort to launder money embezzled from the country’s government.

Even more troubling for the 1.2 million people of Equatorial Guinea is that Teodorin is sure to succeed his father unless an act of God occurs.


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