A fleet of luxurious cars owned by the vice president of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Manguer, which were seized by the Swiss authorities as part of a money-laundering investigation and corruption probe, was auctioned on Sunday in Switzerland.
CNN reports that the sale was organized by London-based auction house Bonhams and all the cars were sold without a reserve price and none had racked up more than just a few thousand miles.
Among the set was a roadster version of the Lamborghini Veneno — one of just nine produced to celebrate the manufacturer’s 50th anniversary — sold for an eye-watering $8.3 million. It was originally estimated to be worth more than $5.1 million.
A limited edition LaFerrari was also auctioned for $2.2 million, while a 1,300-horsepower Koenigsegg One:1 — of which just seven were ever produced — fetched $4.6 million, double what what was expected.
Also in the collection was a McLaren P1 which sold for $1.1 million, an Aston Martin One-77 sold for $1.5 million and a Bugatti Veyron auctioned for $1.3 million.
All of the cars were “sold on behalf of the State of Geneva and the proceeds are going to charity,” Bonhams said in an email to CNN.
Geneva police seized the fleet from a cargo area in the city’s airport in 2016 after criminal proceedings were opened against Obiang.
Reuters reported that the Swiss prosecutors announced in February that they had closed an inquiry into Obiang for money-laundering and misappropriation of public assets with the arrangement to sell the vehicles to fund programs in Equatorial Guinea.
The decision was according to the Swiss penal code, that prosecutors can drop charges in instances like this if defendants offer compensation and restores a situation that is in conformity with the law.
Reports also have it that the vice president has been involved in different cases of fraud and corruption, giving reference to Brazilian authorities which seized more than $16 million in cash and luxury watches from a delegation traveling with Obiang, last year.
His father, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who became President of Equatorial Guinea since 1979 till date is the longest-serving head of state on the continent. He appointed his son as his deputy in 2016.
For several years, anti-corruption NGO Transparency International described Equatorial Guinea as “too opaque to rank,” saying it could not get enough data on it for the global corruption index.