Swiss Government Auctions Supercars From Dictator’s Son’s Collection

25 cars total, with an estimated value of $18.7 million

Cars auctioned
A recent auction of luxury cars in Switzerland found the automotive world colliding with the aftereffects of governmental corruption.
Bonhams
By Tobias Carroll / September 29, 2019 12:53 pm

What happens when international law enforcement crosses paths with some of the most high-performance cars currently available? That unexpected combination is what’s set to happen when the government of Switzerland auctioned off 25 cars previously belonging to Teodorin Obiang Nguema, the Vice President of Equatorial Guinea.

A recent article in The Guardian has the details on just how this peculiar auction came to be. 

The cars were confiscated by Swiss justice after the opening in 2016 of a financial wrongdoing case against Obiang, son and likely heir of Equatorial Guinea’s authoritarian president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema, who has ruled for 40 years. All will be sold with no reserve price.

Charges were ultimately dropped, but the cars were confiscated — which, the article notes, may have indicated a deal worked out between the Swiss government and Obiang. The government of Equatorial Guinea is also contributing money to cover the expenses of the case. 

Included in the auction were some big-name automobiles, including 5 Bentleys and 7 Ferraris. The Guardian reports that “[t]he most expensive lots are a Lamborghini Veneno Roadster, valued at between 4.8m and 5.7m euros ($5.2-6.2m) and a yellow Ferrari hybrid at 2.4-2.6m euros.”

Bonhams, the auctioneers who handled the sales, has details on the cars in question, along with how much each was sold for. Someone is leaving Switzerland with a very nice Koenigsegg One:1 — and the Swiss government now has a bit more cash on hand. 

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