Thousands of Mexicans visited Los Pinos more than the previous week to gawk at what numerous assumed to be narco treasures.
The Mexican government seized 2000 pieces of jewellery from criminals and tax cheats, and put them for auction to fund roads.
A white gold bracelet adorned with crocodiles and encrusted with 1331 diamonds glitter from a display case, not far from a yellow gold pendant in the shape of a bullet covered in 450 tiny black diamonds. These were just two of the 2000 pieces of seized jewellery.
The bracelet sold for the equivalent of $14,550.
The institute opted to hold off, for now, on the sale of gem-encrusted gun handles and pendants of religious figures thought of to be the patron saints of drug dealers.
The sale offered a glimpse into the eccentric tastes of Mexico’s criminal underworld, while reinforcing a perception among the new government’s supporters that it is more transparent and humble.
It was the third such auction of luxury goods organised by the administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has sought to set a tone of austerity since taking office in December.
The auctions have been held outside Los Pinos, a mansion in the capital’s Chapultepec Park that served as the official presidential residence until Lopez Obrador turned the property into a cultural centre open to the public.
Ricardo Rodriguez Vargas, head of the Finance Ministry’s recently created Institute to Return the Stolen to the People, said on Sunday that “the goal was to raise 21 million pesos ($1.6 million) for building roads in western Mexico. Some of the items have been in government storage for as long as five years, gathering dust.”
A necklace produced of white gold with a pendant in the image of “Holy Death”, which was on show but removed from the auction due to the image it represents.
Some of the most ostentatious products did not sell, such as a white gold Montblanc fountain pen adorned with 104 emeralds, 104 rubies and 80 diamonds – in the shape of the Mexican flag. Nor did a Piaget watch with 227 white diamonds splashed across the face and wrist band.
Auctioneers warned bidders that the products came with no assure, and no possibilities for returns.
Now this is an interesting NEWS, and an auction! Isn’t it?