And finally… putting their foot down

An auction selling off 25 supercars from the son of Equatorial Guinea’s president has accumulated €21.6 million.

Swiss prosecutors seized the cars in 2016 when they initiated a corruption investigation against Obiang, likely heir of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, who has ruled in Equatorial Guinea for four decades.

Anti-corruption groups have long accused him of embezzling his country’s funds to finance his playboy lifestyle.

Under the Swiss penal code, prosecutors can choose to drop charges in this category if defendants offer compensation “and restore a situation that is in conformity with the law”.

In a deal with Obiang, the authorities ended their investigation in February but kept the supercars and received €1.4m to cover the costs of the case.

Under the terms of the agreement, the money generated from the auction will go to charities which help the poorest people in Equatorial Guinea.

The auction included Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Bentleys, a Maserati and a McLaren among others, reports. One bidder paid a world-record €7.6m for a very rare white Lamborghini Veneno Roadster, of which only nine exist.

Lynnie Farrant, a spokeswoman for British auctioneers Bonhams, told AFP: “It was a very successful sale.”

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