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Sunday, February 28, 2021

E’ Guinea’s Obiang supercars rakes in $27m in Swiss auction

A collection of supercars confiscated from the son of Equatorial Guinea’s president have been 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 went under the hammer at a golf club near Geneva on Sunday.

The cars, among them Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bentleys and Rolls Royces, fetched about $27m (£21.9m; 26m Swiss francs) in total.

Under a deal will prosecutors, some $23m will go to social projects in Equatorial Guinea, a former Spanish colony where poverty is rife.

One of the most “rare and remarkable” cars, a 2014 Lamborghini Veneno Roadster, was sold for $8.3m to an anonymous buyer.

It is a new world record price for a Lamborghini sold at auction, British auctioneers Bonhams said.

The hammer price for the 354km/h (220mph) car, introduced to celebrate Lamborghini’s 50th anniversary, was about 50% more than its pre-sale estimate.

An Aston Martin One-77 Coupe, described as an “absolute rocket ship” by the auction house, went for $1.5m.

“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.

The cars attracted interest from collectors across the world, especially Europe, Ms Farrant said.

Several supercars were bought by an agent for a collector in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, a Swiss bidder told Reuters news agency.

Around 50 other cars were sold at the auction in the Swiss village of Cheserex, 30km (18 miles) from Geneva.

A 1956 Aston Martin Lagonda, owned by the late Claude Nobs, founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival, was among them.

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