Swiss auction off supercars of Equatorial Guinea leader’s son

Luxury cars are displayed at an auction in the Swiss village of Cheserex, near Geneva
Image captionThe luxury cars are being sold at a golf club in the Swiss village of Cheserex, near Geneva

A collection of supercars confiscated from the son of Equatorial Guinea’s president are being auctioned off in Switzerland.

The cars were seized by Swiss authorities as part of an investigation into Teodorin Nguema Obiang.

He is vice-president to his father, Teodoro Obiang Nguema, who has ruled Equatorial Guinea for 40 years.

Twenty-five of Mr Obiang’s cars are going under the hammer at a golf club near Geneva.

The cars, among them Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bentleys and Rolls Royces, are expected to fetch about $18.5m (£15m; 18.4m Swiss francs) in total.

A Lamborghini Veneno Roadster, valued at up to $6.2m, and an Aston Martin One-77 Coupe, valued at up to $1.7m, have been described as “rare and remarkable”.

“Cars like this would be the jewel of any collection, but to have them all together is really quite extraordinary,” Lynnie Farrant, press officer for auctioneer Bonhams, told the BBC.

A Lamborghini Veneno Roadster, part of a collection of luxury cars owned by Teodorin Nguema Obiang
Image captionA Lamborghini Veneno Roadster, part of a collection of luxury cars owned by Teodorin Nguema Obiang
Luxury cars are displayed at an auction in the Swiss village of Cheserex, near Geneva
Image captionThe cars were seized by Swiss prosecutors as part of an investigation into Teodorin Nguema Obiang

The cars, which do not have a minimum reserve price, have attracted interest from collectors across the world, especially Europe, Ms Farrant said.

The proceeds of the sales will be donated to a charity in Equatorial Guinea, a former Spanish colony where poverty is rife.

In total, 75 cars are being sold at the auction in the Swiss village of Cheserex, 30km (18 miles) from Geneva.

Who is Teodorin Nguema Obiang?

Mr Obiang is seen as the heir-apparent to his father, who has been president since 1979.

The 51 year old served as an adviser to his father and minister for agriculture, before being appointed vice-president in 2012.

In international media reports, Mr Obiang has drawn criticism for his extravagant spending habits and playboy lifestyle.

Teodorin Nguema Obiang
Image captionMr Obiang has been known to share his flamboyant lifestyle on social media

In a 2004 article, the New York Times described him as “a rap music entrepreneur and bon vivant, fond of Lamborghinis and long trips to Hollywood and Rio de Janeiro”.

Swiss prosecutors were investigating Mr Obiang for money laundering and misuse of public funds, but dropped the case in February this year.

In 2017, a French court handed him a three-year suspended jail term for corruption

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