Supercars worth $8 million have been seized from the son of an African dictator in Switzerland.
A Lamborghini Veneno Roadster - one of nine built - a Koenigsegg One:1 - one of six built - and a Bugatti Veyron were caught on camera as authorities took them away. Instagramer swisssupercars filmed them as they were driven away on tow trucks.
Their owner is known to be Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, Vice President of Equatorial Guinea and son of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who is widely considered to be the worst dictator in all of Africa.
All of the cars are registered in Equatorial Guinea, which does give the game away somewhat.
Mangue has been here before. In 2011 French authorities in Paris seized assets including a Ferrari Enzo, Maserati MC12, Porsche Carrera GT, and two Bugatti Veyrons, among other cars. They were auctioned off in 2013 for a total of $4.1 million.
The French authorities accuse Mangue of using public money to fund his lavish, playboy lifestyle. Following the Paris raid he went underground but recently resurfaced in Geneva with his new toys. It seems his reemergence sparked an investigation into his affairs by Swiss officials, leading to Wednesday’s raid.
The Swiss are known to be working with their French counterparts, but have not yet made the details of their inquiry public.
Mangue has also been banned from entering the United States, after his Los Angeles mansion was seized.
Mbasogo became President of Equatorial Guinea in 1979 after seizing power. What was already a brutal dictatorship was strengthened when oil was discovered in 1995. The country is now one of the biggest oil producers on the African continent. The vast majority of the billions of dollars realized has been used to entrench the position and line the pockets of a very small elite, including the ruling Nguema Obiang family.
Meanwhile, child mortality rates are high, access to drinking water is low, and the country’s civil and human rights record has been described as “worst of the worst”.
Incidentally, it is probable the cars were bought through shell companies or agents, and that the manufacturers had no idea who the end user would be.