The federal government raised about 28 million pesos (US $1.47 million) in a vehicle auction on Sunday, putting 82 on the block and selling 65.
One of the most expensive sales was a 2007 Lamborghini Murciélago, which had a starting price of 1.47 million pesos and sold for 1.77 million (US $93,100) to Roberto López, a businessman from Michoacán.
A 2016 Ford Shelby pickup truck that was confiscated from the Sinaloa Cartel sold for 1.9 million pesos.
Some of the 900 people who attended the auction were disappointed by the high prices. On average, the vehicles sold at 70% above their market value.
“Frankly, it was a fraud,” Rubén Anaya told Reforma. “I came for trucks, like the Hummer, but they were sold for very high prices. You can find them on the internet for 100,000 pesos less.”
Another bidder, Guadalupe González, accused the government of placing “shills” among the bidders to unfairly drive up prices.
“Honestly, it was a bit fraudulent, because they don’t cost that much,” she told Reforma. “I think they sent shills to push the prices up. We came for the trucks, the BMWs and the small cars, but they sold for three times higher, and it’s not worth it.”
One buyer who did not wish to be named purchased a BMW for 295,000 pesos. He didn’t think there were shills among the bidders, but he agreed that the prices were high.
“I thought the auction was very good,” he said. “I didn’t see shills like there were in the last administration, but the prices did get really high, much higher than the market. I had participated before, but I didn’t buy anything [then] because of the shills.”
Ricardo Rodríguez, director of the agency responsible for the auction, said the money raised will be go to two municipalities in Oaxaca that are considered the poorest in the country.
Some of the vehicles auctioned had belonged to the government, some had been confiscated from organized crime and others had been repossessed by tax authorities.