There’s no evidence of “bunga bunga” parties in Playa del Carmen, but a woman alleged to have been a participant is reported to have investments in the Quintana Roo city.
Moroccan-born exotic dancer Karima El Mahroug, better known in Italy as Ruby the Heart Stealer, is believed to own two apartment buildings, a restaurant and a pasta factory, allegedly purchased with “hush money” by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. And Italian authorities want to know more.
The Italian newspaper La Stampa reports that authorities are preparing a request for assistance from Mexico in a bid to determine the source of the funds with which El Mahroug purchased the properties.
Berlusconi is suspected of having paid off at least 20 women with tens of thousands of dollars in return for lying during his two-year “bunga bunga” sex trial, which ended in June 2013 with a conviction of paying for sex with a minor.
The Italian politician, 76 at the time, was alleged to have held orgies known as “bunga bunga” parties. The starlets and showgirls invited to the festivities were paid off with apartments, houses and cash, prosecutors believe.
Searches of many of their homes were carried out this week as police look for evidence of payoffs.
Berlusconi’s conviction was overturned on appeal on the grounds that he had been unaware at the time of El Mahroug’s age, which was 17.
Now 21, she was reported to have received cash payments from Berlusconi as recently as a few weeks ago.
The news agency Notimex reported last March that El Mahroug was developing a resort property called Casa Sofia, named after her daughter, in Playa del Carmen. The restaurant has earned four stars on Trip Advisor.