Zambia's authorities seize a Bugatti amid money laundering investigations.
Zambia's Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) has seized the Bugatti imported into Zambia as part of investigations into possible money laundering.
Bugatti is one of the top trending topics on Twitter in Zambia with people talking and sharing pictures of the luxury car that was imported into the country on Monday.
Reports say it is the first-ever of its brand in the country.
The owner of the rare Bugatti, a Veyron, is not known, although industry experts estimate that it costs between $2m-$3m.
Soon after the car landed at Lusaka’s Kenneth Kaunda International Airport on Monday on a commercial plane, its pictures were shared on Twitter. On Tuesday, many took pictures and videos of the car as it was driven in the capital, Lusaka.
The Zambia Revenue Authority is yet to disclose the car owner. They, however, did reveal the owner had paid all the taxes relating to its clearance but did not give further details when asked its value and total taxes.
“The only thing we can confirm is that taxes were paid. The other details we can’t give out because we need to respect the tax payer’s confidentiality as guided by the law and our values,” said Topsy Sikalinda, the Zambia Revenue Authority spokesperson.
The Drug Enforcement Commission announced today that it had seized the vehicle as part of pending investigations.
Theresa Katongo, Commission Spokesperson said numerous concerns were received by the Commission from members of the public over the Bugatti.
“Following the concerns raised, the Commission is making follow-ups to ensure that the purchase of the motor vehicle is not in breach of any money laundering laws,” Mrs. Katongo said.
Lusaka Lawyer Dickson Jere has questioned why the motor vehicle was seized before investigations were concluded.
“I stayed away from the ongoing talk about the Bugatti. I am not into cars and later on not mesmerized by them. However, the statement from the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) caught my attention – I mean seizing of the ka Bugatti! So DEC decided to seize the car because “members of the public” raised concern?”
“Why not investigate first before seizing someone's property merely on concerns by members of the public. Does not make sense at all!”
He said, “Jealous people will always accuse others of criminality and that is why investigations should be launched first – quietly – before even seizing property. I would have been comforted if the statement talked about “preliminary investigations” and not mere concerns by unnamed “members of the public”.
“Anyway, former Minister of Finance late Ronald Penza used to tell me that “Zambians like to embrace poverty” and detest riches or success especially among themselves. True that is!”