A mansion owned by accused drug trafficker Zhenli Ye Gon was sold to the Butaca Enlace Foundation at the latest federal government auction, held by the Administrative Allocation of Goods Service (SAE) on Sunday.
The foundation paid 102 million pesos (US $5.2 million) for the mansion, which is located in the Lomas de Chapultepec neighborhood of Mexico City. The four-story building has 10 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, a pool and an elevator.
The Butaca Enlace Foundation has helped over two million young people participate in athletic events over the past 11 years. In 2011, the foundation supported the participation of over 50,000 athletes at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara.
The foundation’s director, Carlos Bremer, is also director and CEO of Grupo Financiero Value, a financial services company that was founded in 1992. He is also known for his participation in Shark Tank México, a program that seeks to promote entrepreneurship.
The Mexican government seized the mansion in 2007 after Ye Gon was arrested in the United States on drug trafficking charges. Police found more than US $200 million in cash in one of the bedrooms. Ye Gon, who was born in China and became a Mexican citizen in 2003, was extradited to Mexico in 2016.
The mansion was transferred to the SAE in 2012, and the furniture and other items found inside the house were auctioned off.
At the presidential press conference this morning, SAE Director Ricardo Rodríguez called the auction a success.
“This auction was very special because we raised 125.8 million pesos, 102 of which were from the Lomas de Chapultepec mansion,” he said. “It was a very special event because it was the most valuable piece of real estate that we have dealt with. We raised four times more than in the vehicle auction.”
The proceeds will be used to give scholarships to 544 Mexican athletes.
Before the auction, Ye Gon unsuccessfully filed for an injunction to prevent his property from being auctioned off. His lawyer, Juan Luis Gómez Jardón, told Grupo Fórmula that his client will continue taking legal action to recover his old home, and that the proceedings will now involve Bremer, who bought the house.
“The businessman Carlos Bremer bought a legal problem when he bought Zhenli Ye Gon’s house for 102 million pesos,” said Gómez. “The government sold the Lomas de Chapultepec house without fulfilling the legal requirements.”