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by Alex Hanton
The last century has produced some truly bizarre and monstrous dictators. But even the craziest tyrant generally has to retain some grasp on reality to avoid accidentally tripping on a rug and falling on 19 bullets and a pickaxe. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for their horrible children, who enjoy all the benefits of unchecked power, with none of the actual responsibility of deciding whom to fire out of a cannon that week. As a result, dictators’ kids have often used their powers to live out weird, childish fantasies, like ...
Vasily Stalin Accidentally Killed Most Of The Soviet Hockey Team, Then Started A Drunken Soccer War With The Secret Police
As the son Josef Stalin hated the least, Vasily was an Air Force lieutenant-general by age 25, despite being a severe alcoholic who got blackout drunk daily, and rarely turned up to work. That usually disqualifies people from data entry, much less helping to lead a desperate air war against the Nazi sky armada. Although in Vasily’s case, it was probably for the best that he didn’t show up at the office much, since he was a belligerent whiner who would fire his gun randomly, and once amused himself by swooping over panicking streets in a fighter plane.
When not prank-bombing the locals, Vasily was a huge sports fan who took control of the VVS Moscow sports club, which fielded hockey, soccer, and basketball teams. He immediately started abusing his name to make VVS one of the top clubs in the USSR. When FC Spartak’s hockey team won the championship, Vasily informed the entire first line that they were moving to VVS ... which was unfortunate because most of them were killed when the plane crashed while trying to fly through a blizzard in 1950.
Vasily had priors: He had been disciplined for ordering a parade in bad weather conditions, causing two Soviet fighter aces to crash and die. So he just covered up the hockey crash by frantically recruiting new players from the reserves and pretending nothing had happened. Ordinary Russians didn’t find out why most of their national team had suddenly vanished until 1991.
“Well, the bus broke down, and they were trying to find a nearby house to call for help …”
Vasily’s love of sports actually caused a ridiculous conflict with Lavrentiy Beria, Stalin’s terrifying secret police chief and patron of the Dynamo Moscow team. When Dynamo’s rivals Spartak won the soccer title, Beria had their manager Nikolai Starostin thrown into a Siberian gulag, because poor Spartak really could not catch a break in those days. But Vasily quickly ordered Starostin brought back to Moscow to coach VVS. Beria found out and had the guy kidnapped, but Vasily kidnapped him right back, leading to an armed stand-off between Beria’s goons and Vasily’s Air Force bodyguards.
The secret police eventually nabbed Starostin again and tried to take him back to Siberia, but Vasily’s guys chased them 250 miles to Orel and hauled the manager back to Moscow. Vasily then took him to a Dynamo game as his guest, marched him into the government box, and drunkenly berated secret police bosses while poor Starostin tried not to have a heart attack next to him. The manager eventually fled both Vasily and Beria by sending himself back into exile, this time in Kazakhstan, which was probably a sensible move under the circumstances.
Gulnara Karimova Made Everyone In Uzbekistan Listen To Her Awful Music
Uzbekistan’s Islam Karimov is generally considered one of the worst dictators of the 21st century. His powerful daughter Gulnara Karimova has been accused of using violence and corruption to loot billions from her impoverished country. But Gulnara’s real ambition was to become a banging dance-pop sensation under the baffling name of Googoosha. And thanks to her dad, she had the power to make that happen, even if nobody else wanted it.
Under Karimov, Googoosha’s songs automatically went to the top of the Uzbek charts and were played constantly on the radio. The Uzbek media had to cover her every move like she was a superstar, while she tried to use her wealth to buy success overseas as well. For example, she once paid Billboard Magazine a small fortune to put her on the cover. Sadly, despite the type of catchy tunes that can only be produced by chaining Giorgio Moroder’s shambling clone to Uzbekistan’s finest synthesizer and jamming the resultant howls into Google Translate, Gulnara’s music failed to take off around the world.
Which is inexplicable when you consider such surefire hits as a duet that appears to have been filmed without Julio Iglesias’s consent or knowledge ...
... a beautiful collaboration that Gerard Depardieu recorded without budging from his mobility scooter ...
...and a more realistic piece in which Gulnara’s limo is chased through the streets by some sort of parkour ninja assassin.
Gulnara’s career was put on hold after her father had her arrested and then died, which probably isn’t a hurdle that Christina Aguilera had to deal with. She was convicted of fraud in 2017, while her trial for crimes against music is presumably pending.
Saadi Gaddafi Used To Stalk G-Unit
Muammar Gaddafi’s son Al-Saadi is best known for bribing his way into a truly pathetic professional soccer career in Italy. In all the free time he earned by failing drug tests, Saadi was a huge fan of 50 Cent’s hip-hop group G-Unit, to the point that he would pay them huge sums to come and hang out at his parties (in fairness to him, it was the mid-2000s). He loved them so much that he once “nervously” offered 50 Cent over $300,000 for the outfit he was wearing, prompting the rapper to immediately get “butt-ass naked.”
Definitely their weirdest interaction was when he bumped into G-Unit member DJ Whoo Kid at the Toronto Film Festival. Saadi freaked out with excitement, but Whoo Kid really just wanted to get away from him, especially after seeing his bodyguards pick up Al Pacino’s daughter and carry her out of the VIP section “like a baby.” After being informed that he was mistreating Scarface’s daughter, Saadi changed his mind and had her carried back in, again, “like a baby.”
When Saadi invited him to an afterparty, Whoo Kid said he’d try to swing by and then went back to his hotel room, fully intending to just go to sleep. A short time later, two Uzi-wielding bodyguards showed up at his door and informed him that he was going to that afterparty.
“Hey there. It’s time to go party and have fun.”
Whoo Kid arrived to find Saadi face-down in a “mountain of cocaine,” which probably helps explain a lot of his behavior. After climbing down from Mount Blowlympus, the dictator’s kid started screaming at Whoo Kid for playing Britney Spears and tried to force him to do coke with him, like the bad guy in every ‘80s drug awareness PSA ever. Now convinced he was in some kind of Fatal-Attraction-meets-Boogie-Nights situation, Whoo Kid had to actually fake doing cocaine so the guy would leave him be.
He spent most of the rest of the night hiding in a closet with a female guest. They got a little frisky in there, leading to Whoo Kid ... um ... “finishing” inside one of Saadi’s shoes. It’s not clear if Saadi ever noticed, although he possibly spent some time wondering why one of his loafers was noticeably softer than the other and probably hoping it was because Whoo Kid had finished in it.
Teodorin Obiang Robbed His Impoverished Countrymen For Michael Jackson Merch
The son of Equatorial Guinea’s notorious dictator Teodoro Obiang Mbasogo, “Teodorin” Obiang Mangue drew a humble salary of $6,799 a month as agriculture minister. He also tried to buy a $380 million yacht and splurged tens of millions on houses, cars, and jets. His property in France alone was worth $200 million. You don’t have to be a trained accountant to notice that he either has the world’s most relaxed credit card company or something doesn’t add up. We hate to accuse anybody of corruption, but when money turns up missing, you can’t help but suspect the guy zooming away on the diamond-encrusted jet ski.
It’s impossible to exaggerate just how ridiculously opulent Teodorin’s lifestyle is. We’re talking about a guy who paid $30 million cash for a house in Malibu, where he kept so many cars he had to store most of them at a nearby automotive museum. Which makes sense, considering that he would sometimes bring two Bugattis if he was going out alone, just so they’d look more impressive parked outside the club. When he recently made a short trip to Brazil, the authorities searched his plane and seized $15 million in watches alone. The man drapes himself in so much jewelry that he has to wake up every morning and pass a gold nugget like a kidney stone.
Pictured: Teodorin’s dandruff.
And while the ordinary people of Equatorial Guinea endure abject poverty, Teodorin has more important things to worry about than who’s starving or whatever -- he’s got his passion for music to keep him busy. In particular, he loves his hero Michael Jackson, and has spent at least $3.2 million on memorabilia, including Jackson’s famous sequined glove and his less famous sequined socks. Teodorin prizes his collection so much that when the American government threatened to freeze his US assets, he actually made a deal to hand over his house and cars in exchange for keeping the Jackson memorabilia.
Outside of Jackson fandom, Teodorin has recorded an unreleased album under the name “Teddy Bear” and dated recording star Eve, who reportedly broke up with him after hearing his dad was suspected of cannibalism. He even launched his own record label. It only released one album by rapper Won-G, whose father was one of Haitian tyrant “Papa Doc” Duvalier’s military chiefs, which we guess is kind of nice when kids bond over their parents’ shared thuggery. The album flopped, but at least Teodorin got a shout-out on non-hits like “Nothing’s Wrong” and “Put It Inside.” How many agriculture ministers can say that?
Tommy Suharto Bought Lamborghini (The Whole Company), Then Tried To Pass Off Kia As Indonesia’s First Domestic Car
Indonesian dictator “Who-Needs-A-First-Name” Suharto was an unprincipled psychopath with the predatory eyes of a hamster about to introduce the concept of cannibalism to a class of sobbing first-graders.
While Suharto ruled the country and massacred his enemies, his awful socialite kids lined their pockets with various ridiculous business ventures, most of which were entirely fictional. At one point, his daughter was planning a three-tiered elevated highway through the center of Jakarta, while her brother was digging a rival underground system and her sister was trying to build a 52 mile bridge connecting Indonesia and Malaysia. But the pick of the crop was Hutomo “Tommy” Suharto, who made his fortune when his father gave him a monopoly on cloves, which were needed to create Indonesia’s beloved clove cigarettes.
When not gouging clove dealers, Tommy was a keen rally racer who drove around in a sky-blue Rolls-Royce and always kept two extra cars on standby because he crashed so many. Some rich kids splurge by buying a Lamborghini. Tommy’s own little spending spree involved buying Lamborghini ... the company. He also bought Vector Motors after they debuted the beautiful WX-3, but the chief designer was so outraged when Tommy tried to demote him that he quit and successfully patented his design, leaving Tommy with a car company, but no actual car.
For context, this car is 1,000 times better than what was produced.
Tommy’s finest hour came when he announced he would produce Indonesia’s first domestic automobile, the Timor. The government gave him massive tax breaks and encouraged Indonesian banks to invest, much in the way that a goon in a dark alley might “encourage you to invest” in not being beaten with a sock full of pool balls. But despite Tommy’s self-proclaimed car expertise, the project rapidly became less and less ambitious.
For starters, “building a national car” turned out to mean “importing Kia parts and slapping them together like a Lego kit.” Then even that turned out to be too ambitious, so Tommy panicked and got a license to import fully-built Kia Sephias tax-free and sold them as “Indonesia’s car.” They did not sell well, despite being half the price of any other car on the market. Because low prices are nice, but not being openly robbed by the president’s idiot son turns out to be even nicer.
The Malaysian PM’s Stepson Used Stolen Money To Make The Wolf Of Wall Street
What can we say about Riza Aziz that hasn’t already been said about one of his movies? Like The Wolf Of Wall Street, he was all about shady financial crimes. Like Daddy’s Home, he relied on the power of family to make money. And like Dumb And Dumber To, he was a complete pile of crap.
Riza is the stepson of Najib Razak, who was prime minister of Malaysia until earlier this year. Which was unfortunate for the people of Malaysia, since Razak’s main political platform appeared to be showing that poser Imelda Marcos what corruption really looked like. After he lost power, the Malaysian police raided his property and seized jewels, handbags, sunglasses and watches worth an estimated $237 million. Seriously, $237 million in handbags and sunglasses! You could throw Migos into a smelter, make a watch from the results, and Najib Razak would reject it for not having enough bling.
Razak was eventually brought down by the 1MDB scandal, which saw billions of dollars disappear from a Malaysian government development fund. About $680 million of it seems to have ended up in the Prime Minister’s personal bank account, although he claims the money was actually a gift from an inexplicably generous Saudi prince. Another key figure was Riza Aziz, the cherished son of Razak’s powerful wife. But Riza wasn’t content to just build a mansion out of watches like the rest of the clan -- he had a dream of becoming a big shot movie producer. And thanks to Baddy Warbucks, he had the cash to make that happen.
Now in convenient travel cases!
Now, obviously, making it as a Hollywood producer requires more than just money ... except for the fact that it absolutely doesn’t. So if any of our readers are a Congolese warlord, boy, do we have the midlife career change for you!
In Riza’s case, the US Justice Department estimates he plowed $238 million of stolen Malaysian tax dollars into Red Granite, which produced the previously mentioned motion pictures. That’s right: the financial crime funding The Wolf Of Wall Street was actually way bigger than anything depicted in the movie.
Fortunately, the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice, and Riza was brutally punished for his corruption. He produced the Daniel Radcliffe train wreck Horns, meaning he had to watch that movie multiple times. But the Justice Department was inexplicably unsatisfied with that horrible torment and filed a lawsuit against Red Granite, which agreed to pay a $60 million settlement in March 2018. They also made Leonardo di Caprio give up a $3 million Picasso painting that he was given by Red Granite, doubtless leaving him struggling to make ends meet.
Riza is currently dodging corruption charges in Malaysia. We’d sympathize, but we saw the Dumb And Dumber sequel and everyone involved deserves exile to that magnetic prison from Face/Off. Yes, even Jeff Daniels. That monster.
Like this article? Check out “5 People Who Got Away With Shockingly Blatant Bribery” and “5 Criminals Who Took Their Crimes WAY Over The Top”.