Dictator’s playboy son has supercars seized in corruption crackdown

September 30, 2011 | by | 0 Comments

This is the embarrassing moment the playboy son of a feared African dictator had £7 MILLION worth of supercars seized as part of a war on government corruption.

Dictator's playboy son has supercars seized in corruption crackdown

Authorities swooped on the exclusive Paris home of Equatorial Guinea minister Teodorin Nguema and confiscated 11 motors – including TWO Bugatti Veyrons worth £3million

A number of rare Ferraris, Porsches, Maseratis and a UK-registered Rolls Royce were also removed on transporter trucks.

The incredible haul exposed the lavish lifestyle of government officials from a country where the average person relies on aid money and earns £1 a day.

Anti-corruption groups Transparency International and Sherpa have campaigned heavily for an investigation into the country’s leaders, who have used public money to splash on property, artwork and cars to boost their own personal fortunes.

French authorities allowed the landmark judicial investigation last year with oil-rich Equatorial Guinea its biggest target.

Dictator's playboy son has supercars seized in corruption crackdown

But the bold move by the French to seize the supercars has risked a diplomatic crisis with the African state reacting furiously and accusing authorities of ”violating international law”.

A statement through their lawyer said: ”The Republic of Equatorial Guinea condemns operations targeting the Agriculture Minister of Equatorial Guinea, which clearly constitute acts contrary to international law.

”The opening of a judicial investigation in France violates the principles of the most established international law and in particular the principle of state sovereignty.

”This situation is likely to harm relations between France and Equatorial Guinea.”

Despite having vast supplies of oil and gas and a higher GDP per capita than Japan and France, the African state has an incredibly disproportionate spread of wealth with the average person living in poverty.

A staggering 35 per cent die before the age of 40 and 58 per cent of the population don’t have access to safe drinking water.

Meanwhile Teodorin, 41, flies around the world living a playboy lifestyle.

He imported 26 high-end sports cars from the US in 2009 and, on one occasion, spent more than £800,000 on champagne during one boozy weekend in South Africa – despite having an official state salary of £4,200 a month.

The minister is the son of Africa’s longest-standing leader, Teodoro Obiang Nguema, a feared dictator accused of killing and torturing citizens.

Dictator's playboy son has supercars seized in corruption crackdown

American website Slate.com has labelled him ‘Africa’s worst dictator’ while human rights charities have condemned his actions towards the general population.

The Obiangs have amassed a huge fortune during their reign with their wealth thought to put them on a par with some of the world’s richest dynasties.

Forbes magazine estimates they have $700 million of the countries wealth in US banks.

Their impressive family portfolio includes a £15 million mansion in Paris’s uber-exclusive Avenue Foch, where the exotic cars were seized from.

They also own a £20 million mansion in Malibu, £17 million private jet and a luxury yacht with an on-board shark aquarium.

Dictator's playboy son has supercars seized in corruption crackdown

The news has been welcomed by Sherpa, a Paris-based law association which campaigns to protect victims of economic crimes.

Communications officer Rachel Leenhardt said: ”This is the first step and it’s a major breakthrough – we are thrilled about it.

”We have been on this case for four years now and our inquiries show that they have spent a lot more on property and artwork.

”It’s one step at a time but we are hoping for more to be seized in the future.”

The investigations into the families is likely to take years but French authorities could eventually have the power to permanently confiscate the assets before returning the money to the countries they were stolen from.

The families of Ali Bongo in Gabon and Denis Sassou Nguesso from the Republic of Congo are also being targeted in the crackdown.

Pictures: Alex Smolik

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