By Abdul Rahman Suagibu –
NEW AFRICA DAILY NEWS, Freetown, Sierra Leone- More than $ 27 million splashed on Sunday at an auction where dozens of luxury cars were seized from the son of Equatorial Guinea’s President in a thorough and careful investigation in Swiss money – laundry.
The 25 lots sold by auction house Bonham’s included a white and cream 2014 Lamborghini Veneno car with no roof and two seats that cost the buyer $8.4 million comprising 15% taxes to be added. The super car – one of only nine such versions produced had been driven only 201 miles and has an official top speed of 223 mph Bonham’s noted.
Total money received from the sale beats the $8.7 million that authorities had hoped to fetch for a charity to benefit the people of oil – rich Equatorial Guinea.
The auction comes after the Geneva prosecutor’s office declared in February, it had closed a case against Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue – the son of the country’s President who has been in power for over forty years now. Obiang and two others are undergoing a thorough investigation of money laundering and mismanagement of public assets.
Swiss authorities seized the cars and ordered to take control of the properties 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 Swiss francs “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 francs and a 2015 Koenigsegg One: 1 that fetched 4.6 million francs.
An armored 1998 Rolls – Royce Silver Spur limousine described as being “perfect for someone with enemies” but requiring extensive work sold for 86,250 francs.
Obiang who is also a vice President has become in the complexities of the legal system at a certain place where he has been ensnared.
Brazilian officials said $16 million in undeclared cash and luxury watches that were seized from a delegation he led may have been part of an effort to launder money embezzled from the country’s government. And a Paris court in 2017 convicted Obiang of embezzling millions of dollars in public money, although the care has been appealed.
The Geneva prosecutor’s office in February citied rules allowing prosecutors to close cases in which the person under investigation had repaired the damage or done everything that could have been expected of him or her to make up for the wrong that was caused”.
The investigation involved authorities in the United States, the Cayman Islands, France, Monaco, Denmark, the Netherlands and the Marshall Islands.
For New Africa Daily News Abdul Rahman Suagibu Reports, Africa Correspondent