There is no shortage of dictators on this earth and every corner of our world has their own unique character, intimidating its citizens. These dictators take and maintain total authority over their country’s wealth, depriving resources away from their country’s citizens. It is not surprising that most dictators and their families become extremely wealthy, beyond the norm of possessions and opulence. This wealth in itself is not bad; however, these dictators have enriched themselves at the expense of the people they should be helping, qualifying them for the title of dictator, or axis of evil by the international community. Included below are a select few dictators whose opulent lifestyles reveal why it’s good to be king.
10. Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, is said to have a net worth over $10 million due in part to being the financial beneficiary of military contracts and mining concessions. Mugabe and his wife are said to own at least six properties within Zimbabwe including a multi-story mansion. Mugabe also owns several farms that he allegedly obtained by violent land reform programs against white farmers. According to the UK Daily Mail, the President and his wife recently came under scrutiny for spending almost a total of £12 million on first-class luxury trips, within six months.
9. Islam Karimov
President of Uzbekistan for over 20 years, Islam Karimov has been noted as making Uzbekistan a family business. Karimov has been accused of profiting off of the country’s money while using his daughters to disperse money throughout several countries in case they ever had to flee out of Uzbekistan. Karimov’s youngest daughter is said to have recently purchased an estate in Beverly Hills worth $58 million that features three kitchens, a built-in health spa and a 60 foot infinity pool.
8. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo holds a net worth of over $600 million. Obiang made his millions from his nation’s oil production and he suspiciously took over the national treasury, in order to avoid corruption from government officials. His lavish lifestyle includes owning a fleet of high end cars that comprise: Bugattis, Maseratis and Bentleys, as well as an elite six-story period building in Paris. Obiang’s son seems to be following in his luxury lifestyle footsteps. The UK Telegraph reported he went on shopping sprees, leading him to spend over $80,000 at Gucci and $50,000 at Dolce & Gabbana, in one month. He also owns a 12-acre estate in Malibu, California worth approximately $35 million.
7. Denis Sassou Nguesso
Congolese President, Denis Sassou Nguesso is another African president that has made millions off of his oil rich country. Sassou and his family have been reported as spending millions of dollars when traveling. The President reportedly spent over $400,000 on hotel bills when he took a trip to New York and stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Sassou’s son spends lavishly as well, showing credit card statements that add up to over $10 thousand. Purchases were shown to be made on a new wardrobe that featured exclusive designers, such as Louis Vuitton and Roberto Cavalli.
6. Ali Bongo Ondimba
Gabonese President, Ali Bongo Ondimba is another president that likes to capitalize off of his country’s income. Ondimba is said to have embezzled approximately 25 percent of his country’s gross domestic product, and although reportedly grossing even more money today, Ondimba is said to have a net worth of over $1 billion. He also owns a lavish townhouse in Paris that cost him $138 million. The townhouse sits on one acre of land in the heart of Paris and contains 14 bedrooms, a swimming pool, tennis courts and seven parking spaces.
5. Bashar al-Assad
Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad has found it easy to keep up a luxurious lifestyle, especially when owning around 60 to 70 percent of Syria’s assets. The al-Assad family has been in power in Syria for more than 40 years. Asma al-Assad, the first lady of Syria, made the news of reportedly spending millions on luxury goods while Syrian police were firing tear gas at demonstrators. Asma has been vocal on her admiration for Christian Louboutin heels and Chanel dresses, rather than being concerned for the people in her country. It is estimated by the Business Insider that al-Assad also holds assets of up to $1.5 billion in assets and some held in Russia and Hong Kong.
4. Muammar Gaddafi
This recent dictator and axis of evil member, Muammar Gaddafi of Libya has had the benefit of capitalizing on vast oil reserves for almost four decades to fund his entire family’s extravagant lifestyle. Gaddafi’s family enjoyed the opulent lifestyle of living in Regatta, a mini gated city along the beaches west of Tripoli. Gadaffi’s villa is said to have been filled with Burberry couches, Pierre Cardin carpets and gold-plated cutlery. The dictator had a cache of weapons, some dipped in gold and others encrusted with jewels. Gaddafi also had a fully stocked and staffed private zoo for his children. When Gaddafi had his assets frozen in 2011, news broke out that his extreme wealth added up to $30 billion in the U.S., $2.4 billion in Canada, $1.7 billion in Austria, and another $1 billion in the U.K.
3. Hosni Mubarak
According to Globalpost, Former Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak has been rumored to possibly be the world’s richest man, with a fortune nearing $70 billion, although, he is reported of having a net worth set at $1.2 billion. Mubarak is said to have made his money through military contracts, kickbacks and legitimate business activities. It’s surely not very difficult to be able to take cuts on all projects that take place within the country you are the President of. His fortune lies in offshore bank accounts, as well as in properties all around the world, from Paris to Beverly Hills. Mubarak also owns a six story mansion in the Knightsbridge section of London, as well as two yachts. The former President seems to have enjoyed this opulent lifestyle, while his country was filled with laborers struggling with unemployment and low wages.
2. Kim Jong-Il
This notorious North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Il took pleasure in the finer things in life, spending $300 million a year on luxuries, while North Koreans lived in poverty under his rule. It is reported that Kim Jong-Il enjoyed the controversial shark’s fin soup and kept a royal wine cellar full, with over 10,000 bottles. To add to his extravagance, the UK Dailymail reported Kim Jong-Il allegedly spent £700,000 a year on Hennessey Cognac. This fearless dictator loved films so much that he kidnapped a famous film director dubbed, “the Orson Welles of South Korea” and his actress wife and forced them to produce an epic film for him. The narcissistic leader placed 34,000 statues of himself all around North Korea. Kim Jong-Il died in late 2011 leaving his son Kim Jong-un, to reign over North Korea and it appears he will be following in his father’s footsteps in his love for luxury. After a recent trip to North Korea, the UK Telegraph reported Dennis Rodman describing Kim Jong-un’s life as being a, “seven-star” party consisting of constant cocktails, jet-skis, and yachts at the dictator’s private island enclave.
1. Saddam Hussein
Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein loved his palaces, which is why he had one built in every city in order to remind the Iraqi people of his power. Hussein’s palace collection accounts for more than 70 exquisitely designed palaces. His decor included mirrored bedrooms, gold toilets, gold toilet paper dispensers and lamps shaped as women. Hussein’s son had his own compound in the corner of one of the palaces that featured six-lane highways and a zoo filled with cheetahs and lions. According to the UK Telegraph, Hussein also had a 270 foot yacht decked out in his normal gold decor that recently went up for sale for approximately £20 million. The dictator had an estimated net worth of $2 billion.