Auctions

75 fine cars seized from Equatorial Guinea president's son go to auction

Ferraris, Lamborginis, Bentleys, Rolls-Royces are spoils of a corrupt regime

A Lamborghini Veneno Roadster is pictured during an auction preview of Bonhams at the Bonmont Golf & Country Club in Cheserex near Geneva
  • A Lamborghini Veneno Roadster is pictured during an auction preview of Bonhams at the Bonmont Golf & Country Club in Cheserex near Geneva
  • A Lamborghini Veneno Roadster is pictured during an auction preview of Bonhams at the Bonmont Golf & Country Club in Cheserex near Geneva
  • A Lamborghini Veneno Roadster is pictured during an auction preview of Bonhams at the Bonmont Golf & Country Club in Cheserex near Geneva
  • People looking at a Aston Martin One-77 Coupe (2011) in front of a Ferrari LaFerrari (2015), yellow, and a Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 Coupe (2010), blue, part of some 25 luxury cars owned by Teodoro Obiang, the son of the Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo are pictured before an auction of sales house Bonhams at the Bonmont Abbey Golf & Country Club in Cheserex near Geneva, Switzerland, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019. A collection of luxury cars from Equatorial Guinea's vice president Teodorin Obiang Nguema confiscated by the Geneva prosecutor's office after a deal ending a money-laundering inquiry, are auctioned off in Switzerland and are estimated to bring in 18.5 million Swiss francs. (Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP)
  • A picture taken on September 28, 2019 at the Bonmont Abbey in Cheserex, western Switzerland shows a 2010 Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 Coupe model car (R) and a 2011 Aston Martin One-77 Coupe model car during an auction preview by sales house Bonhams of sport cars belonging to the son of the Equatorial Guinea's President. - A collection of luxury cars seized from Equatorial Guinea's vice president Teodorin Obiang Nguema will be auctioned off in Switzerland on September 29, 2019 and are estimated to bring in 18.5 million Swiss francs. (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
  • A picture taken on September 28, 2019 at the Bonmont Abbey in Cheserex, western Switzerland shows a 2011 Aston Martin One-77 Coupe model car (L) and a 2015 Ferrari LaFerrari model car during an auction preview by sales house Bonhams of sport cars belonging to the son of the Equatorial Guinea's President. - A collection of luxury cars seized from Equatorial Guinea's vice president Teodorin Obiang Nguema will be auctioned off in Switzerland on September 29, 2019 and are estimated to bring in 18.5 million Swiss francs. (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Model cars are pictured during an auction preview of Bonhams at the Bonmont Golf & Country Club in Cheserex near Geneva
  • Model cars are pictured during an auction preview of Bonhams at the Bonmont Golf & Country Club in Cheserex near Geneva
  • A F McLaren P1 Coupe is pictured during an auction preview of Bonhams at the Bonmont Golf & Country Club in Cheserex near Geneva
  • A Ferrari Enzo is pictured during an auction preview of Bonhams at the Bonmont Golf & Country Club in Cheserex near Geneva
  • People looking at a 2015 Koenigsegg One:1 model car in front of a Aston Martin One-77 Coupe (2011), red, Ferrari LaFerrari (2015), yellow, and a Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 Coupe (2010), blue, part of some 25 luxury cars owned by Teodoro Obiang, the son of the Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo are pictured before an auction of sales house Bonhams at the Bonmont Abbey Golf & Country Club in Cheserex near Geneva, Switzerland, Sunday, September 29, 2019. A collection of luxury cars from Equatorial Guinea's vice president Teodorin Obiang Nguema confiscated by the Geneva prosecutor's office after a deal ending a money-laundering inquiry, are auctioned off in Switzerland and are estimated to bring in 18.5 million Swiss francs. (Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP)
  • A picture taken on September 28, 2019 at the Bonmont Abbey in Cheserex, western Switzerland shows a 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder model car during an auction preview by sales house Bonhams of sport cars belonging to the son of the Equatorial Guinea's President. - A collection of luxury cars seized from Equatorial Guinea's vice president Teodorin Obiang Nguema will be auctioned off in Switzerland on September 29, 2019 and are estimated to bring in 18.5 million Swiss francs. (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
  • A picture taken on September 28, 2019 at the Bonmont Abbey in Cheserex, western Switzerland shows a McLaren P1 coupe model car during an auction preview by sales house Bonhams of sport cars belonging to the son of the Equatorial Guinea's President. - A collection of luxury cars seized from Equatorial Guinea's vice president Teodorin Obiang Nguema will be auctioned off in Switzerland on September 29, 2019 and are estimated to bring in 18.5 million Swiss francs. (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
  • People looking at a 2015 Koenigsegg One:1 model car in front of a Aston Martin One-77 Coupe (2011), red, Ferrari LaFerrari (2015), yellow, and a Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 Coupe (2010), blue, part of some 25 luxury cars owned by Teodoro Obiang, the son of the Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo are pictured before an auction of sales house Bonhams at the Bonmont Abbey Golf & Country Club in Cheserex near Geneva, Switzerland, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019. A collection of luxury cars from Equatorial Guinea's vice president Teodorin Obiang Nguema confiscated by the Geneva prosecutor's office after a deal ending a money-laundering inquiry, are auctioned off in Switzerland and are estimated to bring in 18.5 million Swiss francs. (Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP)
  • A Lamborghini Veneno Roadster is pictured during an auction preview of Bonhams at the Bonmont Golf & Country Club in Cheserex near Geneva

CHESEREX, Switzerland — A collection of luxury cars confiscated by Geneva authorities from a son of the president of Equatorial Guinea is estimated to fetch 18.5 million Swiss francs ($18.67 million) this weekend, Bonhams auction house said on Friday.

Swiss prosecutors said in February that they had closed an inquiry into Teodoro Nguema Obiang for money-laundering and misappropriation of public assets with an arrangement to sell the cars to fund social programs in the former Spanish colony.

Twenty-six Ferraris, Lamborginis, Bentleys, and Rolls-Royces owned by the vice president and former agriculture minister known as Teodorin are displayed at Bonmont golf and country club in the Swiss village of Cheserex, 30 km (19 miles) from Geneva, ahead of Sunday's sale.

In all, 75 prestige cars, mostly post-war, will be on the block at a 12th-Century abbey where telephone banks await bidders.

"We do have a collection of cars from the state of Geneva. It's a great setting," James Knight, Group Chairman of Bonhams Motoring Department who will conduct the auction, told Reuters.

Billed as the "Supercar Collection," the Obiang cars do not have a minimum reserve price and have drawn interest from collectors in Europe, the United States, Middle East, and Far East, he said.

Teodorin is the son of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who has ruled the west African state for four decades. Rights groups have labelled his administration one the world's most corrupt.

A white 2014 Lamborghini Veneno Roadster, with the initials TNO painted on the hood and 'gull wing' doors, is the star lot, valued at 5.2 million to 6.2 million Swiss francs. One of only nine made, it has 325 km (200 miles) on the clock, and was being inspected by a potential German bidder kneeling in the grass.

"It is the first time such a car is being offered at public auction," Knight said. "Buyers want a car to have had few owners, a service handbook and a low odometer reading."

All but one of the 26 cars from the Obiang collection will be subject to import tax if they remain in Switzerland, Knight said. "They didn't have Swiss tax paid and are not Swiss-registered," he said.

A 1956 Aston Martin Lagonda, owned by Claude Nobs, the late founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival, is also on offer.

The Rolling Stones, Petula Clark, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, David Bowie and Freddie Mercury are among performers to have ridden in the raspberry vintage vehicle, the catalogue said.


Share This Photo X