The Falcon 7X of the President of the Republic of Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso, was sold on Tuesday at auction for 7.1 million euros at the Grand Hôtel de Bordeaux, after being seized in June 2020 at the airport of the Gironde capital.
This seizure by bailiff, during maintenance work, is part of a long series of legal proceedings initiated for decades by the boss of the company Commisimpex, a Lebanese businessman, against the State of Congo.
The auction of this aircraft produced by Dassault Aviation was ordered by the Bordeaux judicial court in December 2022 and then confirmed in June 2023 by the court of appeal, with an initial price set at seven million euros.
It was led by auctioneer Vincent Pestel-Debord and concluded in a few seconds with the first and only bidder. Remaining anonymous, he has three days to pay the balance of his purchase and will have to remove the livery of the aircraft currently in the colours of the Republic of Congo, indicated Mr Pestel-Debord.
This sale should make it possible to compensate Commisimpex for unpaid public works.
The boss of this company, Mohsen Hojeij, a former close friend of President Sassou Nguesso, had won several contracts between 1983 and 1986: construction of a bridge or a village in particular. But in 1986, after the collapse of oil prices, the economic situation in the Republic of Congo deteriorated and only part of the work was completed.
In 2000 and then in 2013, the International Court of Arbitration in Paris twice ordered Congo to compensate Mr. Hojeij's company.
Over the years, the sum claimed by the businessman has swelled, from around 100 million euros when the dispute began in 1992 to around 1.7 billion euros today.