IN POSSIBLY the most expensive car raid in history, the son of an African dictator has had his 11-strong car collection seized by the Swiss government.
The Vice President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, had his collection – conservatively estimated to be worth over AU$10 million – seized in a raid in Geneva earlier this month.
The seized cars included a Lamborghini Veneno (one of just nine cars ever built), a Koenigsegg One:1 (one of only seven in the world). A Bugatti Veyron, Ferrari Enzo and Ferrari F12tdf were also spotted being towed away from the raid.
This isn’t Obiang Mangue’s first brush with the law. Five years ago he had a fleet of supercars seized in Paris that later sold at auction for a collective $5.3million.
Cars aren’t the only things seized by authorities, with an LA mansion taken away from Mangue several years ago. The Equatorial Guinea Vice President is also banned from entering the USA and France.
The freshly nabbed cars were all registered in Equatorial Guinea, prompting authorities to open a fresh investigation into Mangue’s presence in the country once they were spotted driving around Geneva.
As the son of known dictator Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who has been president of Equatorial Guinea since 1979, Mangue’s collection was funded by funnelling profits of an oil boom for personal use.
The BBC reported the Human Rights Watch as stating: “dictatorship under President Obiang has used an oil boom to entrench and enrich itself further at the expense of the country’s people.”
Despite being one of Africa’s largest oil producers, and being the richest country per capita in the continent, less than half of Equatorial Guinea’s 1.2million population have access to clean drinking water.
The UN ranks the country as the “worst of the worst” in civil human rights, with 20 percent of children dying before age five.
The cars were seized as part of an ongoing corruption investigation surrounding Mangue’s father.