A Mexico City mansion owned by a Chinese-Mexican businessman accused of drug trafficking and money laundering will go on the auction block next month.
Zhenli Ye Gon’s home in the affluent Bosques de las Lomas neighborhood was seized by federal authorities in 2007.
Authorities also seized huge amounts of cash found inside – US $206 million, 17 million pesos and 201,000 euros.
Police suspect that Ye Gon, allegedly a member of the Sinaloa Cartel, was importing huge quantities of chemicals from China to produce methamphetamine. He was arrested in the United States in 2007 and extradited to Mexico in 2016.
Speaking at the presidential press conference this morning, the chief of the System of Administrative Allocation of Assets (SAE), a federal agency, said that Ye Gon’s 1,500-square-meter home is valued at 95 million pesos (US $5 million).
“It’s a pretty plush house . . .” Ricardo Rodríguez said, adding that it was transferred to the SAE in 2012.
He explained that the seized cash went to the federal judiciary, the Attorney General’s Office and the Secretariat of Health.
However, President López Obrador said earlier this month that what was done with the money is unclear and that an investigation has been initiated to find out.
Former president Felipe Calderón, who was in office when the cash was confiscated, responded that the money was used to build 335 drug prevention and addiction treatment centers.
Today, López Obrador said that Ye Gon’s home previously belonged to a politician but declined to say who, advising reporters to find out for themselves.
“. . . We have to be careful with the power vested in the president, it won’t be hard to find out [who the owner was] . . .” López Obrador said.
The luxurious home won’t be the first asset owned by Ye Gon to be sold by the federal government.
In 2014, the México state government paid 181 million pesos for an industrial warehouse in Toluca where the businessman allegedly planned to set up a methamphetamine processing facility.
Ye Gon, who became a Mexican citizen in 2003, has consistently denied all charges against him. It is unclear when he will face trial.