Corrupt politician’s supercars auctioned for R557m
African playboy’s ill-gotten collection included a super-rare Lamborghini which fetched R126.5m
A collection of supercars worth R557m seized from a corrupt Equatorial Guinea politician were sold at a Bonhams auction in Cheserex, Switzerland on Sunday.
The 25-car collection included ultra-rare models like the Bugatti Veyron, Ferrari LaFerrari, Koenigsegg One: 1, Lamborghini Veneno Roadster and McLaren P1.
The collection formerly belonged to Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the vice-president of Equatorial Guinea and son of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.
The cars were confiscated by Swiss authorities in 2016 after Mangue allegedly paid for them using state funds. The playboy politician has been the subject of numerous corruption investigations into his lavish lifestyle, including cars and properties he bought in SA.
The Veneno Roadster, a super-rare Lamborghini of which only nine were built, fetched the highest bid at $8.32m (R126.5m) — a world record auction price for the Italian marque.
Other highlights included the Koenigsegg One:1 selling for $4.6m (R70m), the Ferrari Enzo fetching a price of $3.1m (R47m), the Aston Martin One-77 $1.5m (R22.78m), Porsche 918 Spyder $1.5m (R22.8m), while the Bugatti Veyron and McLaren Pl sold for $1.3m (R19.7m) apiece.
The collection also included Maseratis and Mercedes-Maybachs, with models ranging from hyper cars to luxury convertibles and limousines.
The sale attracted interest from collectors and enthusiasts from around the world and it was standing room only at the Bonmont Golf & Country Club near Geneva, in the deconsecrated abbey which served as the Bonhams sale room.
Mangue has had several properties and cars confiscated over the years, and in 2017 was sentenced to three years in jail (suspended) in France after he allegedly embezzled $175m from his country to buy luxury cars, real estate and other assets.
A previously seized collection of cars owned by Mangue — including a Ferrari Enzo, Porsche Carrera GT and two Bugatti Veyrons — was auctioned in 2013.
In 2005 Mangue reportedly went on a R10m spending spree over a single weekend in SA, where he splashed out on properties, entertainment and cars that included a Bentley Arnage, a Bentley Continental R and a Lamborghini Murcielago.
The proceeds of last weekend’s auction will be donated to social programmes in Equatorial Guinea, an oil-rich but largely poverty-stricken former Spanish colony of about 1.2-million people.
Most of the bidders were anonymous, though it is believed several cars were bought by a single collector in the Middle East.