This $8 million Lamborghini seized from an African dictator’s son just became the most expensive ever sold

A 2014 Lamborghini Veneno.

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A 2014 Lamborghini Veneno.
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Denis Balibouse/Reuters

  • A 2014 Lamborghini Veneno just fetched $8.27 million at a Bonhams auction in Switzerland on Sunday.
  • The car was originally seized from Equatorial Guinea Vice President Teodoro Nguema Obiang by Swiss officials in 2016, the BBC reported.
  • The supercar is one of 26 vehicles from Obiang’s collection that the State of Geneva and Bonhams auctioned.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A 2014 Lamborghini Veneno Roadster just fetched $8.27 at an auction in Switzerland on Sunday, making it the world’s most expensive Lamborghini ever auctioned according to the auction house.

The car was a part of a collection of 26 supercars that was auctioned off by Bonham and the State of Geneva. The cars were originally seized from Equatorial Guinean Vice President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, son of the oil-rich country’s dictator Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.

Read more: The most expensive car sold this year at auction is now an ultra-rare 1994 McLaren F1 which just auctioned for a record $19.8 million

Obiang Mangue was charged in 2017 for money laundering and embezzlement of over $100 million, although the charges were dropped this past February, the Washington Post reported. The cars were seized one year prior.

The 26 supercars fetched almost $27 million in total at the auction. A portion of the sales, about $23.46 million, will be donated to a charity in Equatorial Guinea.

Check out what is now the world’s most expensive auctioned Lamborghini with a dark history:


The roadster version of the Veneno originally ran €3.3 million, about $3.6 million, when it was first unveiled in 2014.

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Denis Balibouse/Reuters

All nine examples of the Veneno Roadster sold out immediately when it was unveiled.

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Reuters

The Veneno was based on the Lamborghini Aventador and was created to celebrate the automaker’s 50th anniversary.

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Bonhams

“This Lamborghini concept car represents state-of-the-art design inspired by aeronautics, capable of giving you the indescribable feeling of flying on the road,” the automaker claims.

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Bonhams

Source: Lamborghini


This car auctioned off for about $8.2 million, making it the world’s most expensive Lamborghini to have ever been auctioned, according to the auction house. The bidding war lasted seven minutes. The price includes a 15% surcharge that goes directly to the auction house.

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Bonham

A 1972 Lamborghini Miura SV held a previous record after it fetched €2.34 million, about $2.55 million, in 2017 Paris auction, according to Barron’s.

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Bonhams

Source: Barron’s


This was the seventh of nine Lamborghini Veneno Roadsters made.

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Bonhams

It had 325 kilometers, about 202 miles, logged upon its auction.

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Bonhams

The car was auctioned in “as new” condition except for a slight scratch on the right rear wheel.

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Bonhams

It has the iconic V12 engine, giving it a top speed of 221 mph.

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Bonhams

The zero-to-60 mph time is 2.8 seconds.

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Bonhams

The auction house claimed the tires on the vehicles were replaced in 2015, although the battery still needed to be changed.

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Bonhams

“Lamborghini’s aim with the Veneno was to create a close approximation to a sports-racing prototype that would nevertheless be road legal, which entailed making a big departure from the styling of previous Lamborghini models,” Bonhams said in a prepared statement.

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Bonhams

The car has a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis with a body that was designed to improve airflow and decrease downforce, therefore increasing the car’s speed.

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Bonhams

Like other Lamborghini supercars, the Veneno Roadster has scissors doors that open vertically.

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Bonhams

The car was sold with the owner’s handbook, car cover, books and tools, and Equatorial Guinea registration papers and technical inspection.

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Bonhams

Bonhams called ownership of the car a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

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Bonhams