And then the Swiss auctioned off the supercars on Sept. 30 for $27 million as part of a settlement. They include a Bugatti Veyron, Rolls-Royce Phantom, Lamborghini Veneno and Koenigsegg One, court and auction records show. Equatorial Guinea had argued that the cars belonged to a state-owned company.

The nation’s embassy in Washington didn’t reply to phone messages or an invitation to comment through the government’s official web page. Additional attempts to reach Obiang for comment via Instagram and through Equatorial Guinea’s information minister were unsuccessful. Kevin Fisher, a California lawyer who represents him in a lawsuit over a subsequent sale of the Malibu property, declined to comment.

Since the discovery of oil in 1996, Equatorial Guinea’s gross domestic product has surged more than 5,000%, making the 28,000-square-mile nation Africa’s third-richest per capita. The Obiangs have said they’re using the mineral wealth to improve the lives of Equatoguineans.

The distribution of those oil riches, however, is uneven. More than half of children under 5 years old lack access to adequate food, and about 9% of youngsters in that age group die, Unicef said in a 2017 report. The average life expectancy in Equatorial Guinea is just 58, compared with 66 in neighboring Gabon, according to the World Bank.

Obiang “shamelessly looted his government and shook down businesses in his country to support his lavish lifestyle, while many of his fellow citizens lived in extreme poverty,” then-U.S. Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell said in a statement announcing the 2014 settlement.

He did manage to keep a Gulfstream jet, which is targeted for seizure if it ever returns to the U.S., and $1 million worth of Michael Jackson memorabilia, including a sequin-encrusted glove, according to the statement.

Equatorial Guinea, which sought a $700 million loan from the International Monetary Fund to bolster its currency, reached a three-year financial agreement with the IMF after meetings last week in Washington.

The IMF has “supported the authorities’ efforts to devise a national strategy to improve governance and fight corruption through the preparation of a report on governance,” a spokeswoman for the fund said in an emailed statement.

Sarah Saadoun, a corruption researcher at Human Rights Watch, suggested another way for the country to raise money.

“If they just sold those two yachts, they’d have a third of their loan request,” she said.