Confiscated jewelry and watches are expected to “sell like hot cakes” at the government’s third auction of assets seized by federal authorities.
The fundraising goal for the auction being held by the System of Administrative Allocation of Assets (SAE) is 21.8 million pesos, the total of the starting bids for the 148 lots.
The July 28 auction will sell off jewelry being held by federal prosecutors, courts and tax authorities.
Ricardo Rodríguez, head of the Institute to Return Stolen Goods to the People, the so-called “Robin Hood” agency that manages the SAE auctions, said he expects the auction to surpass its goal and raise between 30 million and 35 million pesos. The proceeds will pay for road repairs in mountain communities in Michoacán.
“We expect them to sell like hot cakes,” said Rodríguez. “I think it’s going to be very attractive for those who want to participate.”
He said it was hard for the SAE to establish the market value of the pieces “because of how extravagant and unique they are,” and that the 21.8-million-peso figure is just an “initial reference point.”
Top-priced item is a 3-million-peso Piaget watch made of 18-carat white gold and encrusted with 49 diamonds.
Of the 148 lots, 133 were confiscated by federal prosecutors. Some of the others were gifts illegally given to public servants.
President López Obrador said the items will be on display for a week, beginning Sunday, at the former presidential home, Los Pinos.
He also announced that the government’s fourth auction will sell off land and cash confiscated from drug traffickers.
“In the next auction, we’ll sell confiscated goods and parcels of land, and money in cash, especially dollars,” he said.
On hand at today’s press conference were two Guerrero mayors, each of whom was presented with a check for 21.15 million pesos, cash generated by the auction of confiscated narco-properties.
The mayors represent Metlatónoc and Cochoapa El Grande, two of Mexico’s poorest municipalities.