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Narco Loot For Sale ~ Mexico City


America's prohibition of and thirst for drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine, combined with the Colombian cartels' offloading of risk to their Mexican counterparts has had devastating consequences for Mexico, especially in the border towns close to the terminus of the illegal cargo. It has also enriched Mexican drug traffickers to a degree very difficult to understand or visualize, as hundreds of millions of dollars in banned substances flow through Mexico and into the United States every year.

Marijuana patterned jewel-encrusted watch

One way to get an idea of the outlandish wealth being accumulated by the biggest and baddest is a peek inside the vaults of Mexico's SAE, described thusly by the Wall St. Journal:

When a Mexican drug lord gets busted, what happens to his emerald-encrusted pistols?

The answer lies at a little-known branch of the Finance Ministry that manages the over-the-top mansions, armor-plated Hummers and other assets seized in the Mexican government's escalating war on drug cartels. The agency is called the Asset Administration and Disposal Service, or SAE as it's known for short in Spanish.

"You realize that the mansions in movies like 'Scarface' aren't exaggerations," says Omar Yaffar, a 36-year-old manager at the agency. "The real thing can be more amazing."

One recent Thursday, Mr. Yaffar went to check out a house the agency is about to take over from Mexico's Federal Police, who last year surprised a group of Colombian drug traffickers as they partied in the chalet-style hideout. If the defendants are convicted, their lair likely will be auctioned off.

The three-story house is like Hansel and Gretel meets Pablo Escobar, replete with gingerbread-like carvings featuring Christian and Buddhist figures, goats, fish and other animals. The grounds are a labyrinth of garden trails among man-made ponds fed by waterfalls. The compound also has stables, a suit of armor and a disco with stripper pole. Some of the traffickers were caught in a cave-like underground hot-tub complex about the size of a backyard swimming pool, featuring faux stalactites and a fireplace. A glass skylight allowed bathers to gaze up at lions or a pair of albino tigers that dwelled in a cage on the roof.

Gold pistol grips with raised eagles

The loot is auctioned off in Mexico City hotels and on eBay. Step right up to buy gold plated uzis, and other insane items created by ruthless people with money to burn...

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