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Nine luxury sport cars owned by Teodorin Obiang, the playboy son of Equatorial Guinea’s president, have been auctioned in Paris, fetching $4.1 million, Reuters has reported.
The cars, which include pricey brands like Porsche, Ferrari, Bugatti and Maserati, were seized in September 2011 by French authorities from Obiang’s upmarket residence in 16th arrondissement of Paris as part of a money-laundering investigation. As it turns out, most of the cars, which date from between 2004 to 2010, were infrequently used and had very little mileage on them. The auction, which was ordered by a French state collection agency, took place at the Drouot auction house in Paris on Monday and was attended by close to 100 people.
Obiang is wanted in France for embezzling public funds to acquire luxury properties in Paris. Obiang has gained notoriety as one of Africa’s most extravagant spenders and for his jet-setting playboy lifestyle. He is believed to own two lavish homes in Cape Town and a $30 million mansion in Malibu, California. In 2006, he reportedly spent $1.5 million on two Bentleys – an Arnage T and a Mulliner – and a Lamborghini Murcielago as well as two luxury houses. He once dated Grammy award-winning Hip-hop act Eve and in 2006 he staged a Christmas party for her aboard Tatoosh, the 300-foot yacht owned by Microsoft MSFT +0.07% co-founder Paul Allen. He reportedly spent about $400,000 to rent the boat. In February, French authorities also seized the Obiang’s six-story mansion on Avenue Foch in Paris, which contained paintings by famous artists and a vintage clock worth about $5 million.
Obiang vehemently denies the corruption charges, insisting he made his fortune by engaging in legitimate business practices in Equatorial Guinea and abroad. The Obiangs have also appealed the seizure of their property. However, according to the daily Le Monde, in November 2012, a French appeals court cited “sufficient indications to believe that all the vehicles were acquired through the misappropriation of funds.”
The French authorities have also issued an arrest warrant for Teodorin Obiang.