Published on April 28th, 2024 | by Subhash Nair


Four Rare Bugatti Veyron Hypercars Seized in Munich Tied to 1MDB Scandal

Not just a yatch and a movie, but 4 Bugatti Veyrons worth US$12 million are now tied to the siphoned 1MDB money.

Four ultra-rare Bugatti Veyron hypercars were seized by German authorities this week from a private storage facility in Munich. The special edition models are reportedly linked to the notorious 1MDB corruption scandal.

bugatti veyron seized in munich in connection to 1mdb scandal
photo: Robert Gongoll, Bild

The seized Bugattis were part of the extremely limited “Les Legendes de Bugatti” run, with only 18 examples ever produced across six unique variants. The four confiscated models were the Rembrandt, Black Bess, Jean-Pierre Wimille, and Meo Constantini editions of the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse.

photo: Robert Gongoll, Bild

Each of the seized 1MDB-linked Bugatti Veyrons carried an eye-watering US$3 million price tag when new. With such limited production numbers, their values today are difficult to estimate.

The news of the seizure was first reported by German publication Bild. The cars were discovered by the Criminal Investigation Department 7, which specializes in white-collar crime cases, stored in an automotive event space called Motorworld Munich.

photo: Robert Gongoll, Bild

While specific details remain unclear pending the investigation, sources indicated to Bild that the hypercars are tied to the infamous 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) sovereign wealth fund scandal. The ownership trail and specific connections of these Bugatti supercars to 1MDB remains murky for now. More details are expected to emerge as the investigation by German authorities continues.

If the investigation conclusively links ownership of the four rare Bugatti hypercars to funds illegally siphoned from 1MDB, the options for Malaysian authorities to recover the assets become more viable. Typically, law enforcement will seek court orders to have seized assets tied to corruption or money laundering legally forfeited to the government.

Once forfeited, the Malaysian government could then opt to liquidate the valuable Bugatti vehicles at public auction. While their exclusivity makes valuation tricky, selling through an experienced auction house like RM Sotheby’s or Bonhams that specializes in ultra-rare automobiles would likely maximize proceeds. Any money recouped from such an auction could then be redirected back to Malaysia as restitution for the billions misappropriated from 1MDB’s original economic development mandate. Similar asset seizures and forfeitures have allowed governments to recover a portion of stolen funds from other corruption scandals.

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Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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