Mexico to auction Lamborghini, other seized assets to help poor

By Daina Beth Solomon MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's government will auction a Lamborghini, homes and other assets seized from gangsters and at least one former politician, officials said on Tuesday, part of a 'Robin Hood' program to use millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains to aid the poor. The first auction, set for Sunday, will seek bids for 77 vehicles with a total starting price of around $1.5 million, Ricardo Rodriguez, head of the newly created Institute to Return Stolen Goods to the People, said at a news conference.

Reuters May 22, 2019 02:07:32 IST
Mexico to auction Lamborghini, other seized assets to help poor

Mexico to auction Lamborghini other seized assets to help poor

By Daina Beth Solomon

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's government will auction a Lamborghini, homes and other assets seized from gangsters and at least one former politician, officials said on Tuesday, part of a "Robin Hood" program to use millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains to aid the poor.

The first auction, set for Sunday, will seek bids for 77 vehicles with a total starting price of around $1.5 million, Ricardo Rodriguez, head of the newly created Institute to Return Stolen Goods to the People, said at a news conference.

"Before, this worked like a reverse Robin Hood ... taking from the people and giving to the corrupt. Not anymore," Rodriguez said.

The proceeds will go to two municipalities in the southern state of Oaxaca, which President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said are among the poorest in the country. The vehicles up for auction include Porsches, Corvettes, Mercedes-Benzes, a Mustang convertible and a 2007 Lamborghini Murcielago.

A 2017 report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development noted that recent studies estimated Mexico lost between 5% and 9% of its gross domestic product (GDP) to corruption annually.

Since taking office in December, Lopez Obrador, a leftist, has rolled out a string of welfare programs for the poor and the elderly, cut salaries for top civil servants and said he is saving public money by eliminating corruption. He announced plans for a "Robin Hood" institute in April.

The Mexican president, who has shunned the often luxurious trappings of the country's wealthy elites and was known to drive through the capital in a modest white Volkswagen Jetta, added that two cars and an ambulance donated by the King of Jordan will go to the National Guard, a new security force.

One of the auctions will seek to sell three homes worth at least $7 million, including one with an indoor pool in an upscale Mexico City neighbourhood. The money will go towards a youth drug rehabilitation program.

Proceeds from another auction of jewellery seized from organised crime groups will go to communities in the mountains of Guerrero state, where many families struggle to eke out a living by growing opium poppies.

Not all the assets come from drug lords. Rodriguez said one of the homes up for auction belonged to a former politician.

(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Paul Simao)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.