French Authorities Sell Off Ultra Luxury Cars Seized From Son of Dictator

Ronnie Schreiber
by Ronnie Schreiber

While Equitorial Guinea is one of the wealthiest countries in Africa, only half of the people have access to clean, safe drinking water. One fifth of children born in the country die before they are five years old. Two years ago the French government raided the €80 million, 101-room mansion near the Champs Elysees belonging to Teodorin Obiang, the son of the president of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, in power since 1979. Among the treasures found in the mansion were a cache of supercars, which have now been sold of f.

The raid was part of a “bien mals aquis” investigation into ill-gotten gains. According to French authorities, those ill-gotten gains were funds belonging to the African country looted by the Obiang family. Though Obiang is claiming diplomatic immunity due to having been named Second Vice President of Equatorial Guinea, a recent ruling in French courts said that such immunity did not protect property bought with stolen public money. As a result of that ruling, French authorities have gone through with the seizure of vintage wines, antique furniture, fine art including a Degas and a Renoir, and jewelry from the mansion as well as Teodorin Obiang’s impressive collection of low mileage high dollar cars. Those cars have now been sold off by the Drouot auction house in Paris, fetching over $4 million (€3.1 million, £2.7 million), and included two Bugattis, two Bentleys, a Rolls-Royce, a Ferrari, a Porsche, a Maserati and a Maybach.

Court documents show that 4 years ago, Obiang imported 26 high end luxury cars worth $12 million to France from the United States. The fleet was comprised of one each from Aston Martin, Porsche, Lamborghini and Maserati, plus two Bugattis, four Mercedes-Benzes, four Rolls-Royces, five Bentleys, and seven Ferraris. Despite the fact that the roads in Equatorial Guinea are generally not paved and require serious 4X4 vehicles, many of those cars were shipped to Africa for his use there. The cars that were auctioned were the ones left in his Paris pied a terre.

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  • Domestic Hearse Domestic Hearse on Jul 18, 2013

    I hope the French authorities took the proceeds from the sale of the cars -- and the luxury loot of jewelry, paintings, furniture, etc -- and found a way to funnel it back to the children dying of disease and malnutrition, and half the population with no access to clean water. Funded medicine, infrastructure, food. Call it wealth re-redistribution. In this particular case, I'm not opposed. Not even a little.

  • Billfrombuckhead Billfrombuckhead on Jul 18, 2013

    I wished we could do this to our kleptocracy class, the Wall Street banksters.

  • 2ACL Some of the reported issues sound expensive for all but the most committed wrenchers. Scant documentation on some of the previous work is also a minus. I wouldn't mind something like this, but whereas the seller is trying to make room, I don't have any for something this intensive.
  • Merc190 Any Alfa has a unique character built in, so there's that, once you get it running properly, until it doesn't...
  • Syke Yeah, no sympathy for the dealerships whatsoever. I've gone enough thru training a dealership's salesperson under the guise of trying to buy an EV. I'm pleasantly surprised that Ford's insisting on Level 3 DC Fast Charging rather than the usual Level 2 that most dealerships have now. This is definitely forcing a commitment on the part of the dealer that they're going to be serious about selling EV's.Oh yeah, DC Fast Charging is never free, so you're definitely talking another income stream for the dealership. The big question is are they smart enough to make something real of it?I continue to say that the legacy automakers biggest problem when it comes to selling EV's is their own dealerships. And this article really drives that home.
  • SCE to AUX Yeah, I'm going to spend 5 or 6 figures on a used/abused car from a punk.
  • MrIcky I'm not buying any of Musk's BS until he steps into the ring with Zuckerberg. Musk dropped the challenge, Mark picked it up, Musk pussed out. 2 men enter, 1 man leaves- you know the law.