Cars Seized From Leader's Son Auctioned Off for $27M

Money will go to charity to benefit the people of Equatorial Guinea
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 30, 2019 4:29 AM CDT
25 Luxury Cars Seized From Dictator's Son Auctioned Off
People look at a Lamborghini Veneno Roadster (2014) sport car before the auction.   (Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP)

Car lovers from around the world splashed out more than $27 million at an auction Sunday for dozens of luxury cars seized from the son of Equatorial Guinea's president in a Swiss money-laundering probe. The 25 lots sold by auction house Bonhams included a white-and-cream 2014 Lamborghini Veneno roadster that cost the buyer $8.4 million, comprising a 15% premium for the auction house but with potential taxes still to be added. The supercar— one of only nine such versions produced—had been driven only 201 miles and has an official top speed of 223mph, Bonhams said. Total proceeds from the sale beat the $18.7 million that authorities had hoped to fetch for a charity to benefit the people of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea, the AP reports.

The auction comes after the Geneva prosecutor's office announced in February it had closed a case against Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the son of the country's four-decade president, Teodoro Obiang, and two others following a probe of money laundering and mismanagement of public assets. Swiss authorities seized the cars and ordered the sequestration of a yacht in 2016. The yacht was released in the arrangement announced in February, under which Equatorial Guinea agreed to pay Geneva authorities $1.3 million "notably to cover procedural costs," the prosecutor's office said. Other cars sold at the Domaine de Bonmmont golf club on the edge of Geneva included a yellow 2003 Ferrari Enzo for $3.1 million, and a 2015 Koenigsegg One:1 that fetched $4.6 million.

(Read more Equatorial Guinea stories.)

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