SAO PAULO – A federal court will auction 20 watches seized from a collection belonging to Colombian Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia, valued at least $1.1 million, reported online media. The Colombian is the wealthiest drug trafficker ever arrested in Brazil.
Watches Expected to Fetch Over $1.1 Million
Among the items are brands such as Cartier, Bvlgari and Rolex. Opening bids for some of the watches start as low as $5 thousand and reach $221 thousand for a Swiss Audemar Piquet. The government is auctioning the items off under asset forfeiture laws applicable to international drug trafficking and money laundering.
The auction will occur Monday at 2:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Federal Criminal Justice Courthouse on Alameda Ministro Rocha Azevedo, 25. A judge authorized an early sale because of the time that has elapsed since the seizure and the difficulty in maintaining security of the items.
Federal Police arrested the Colombian drug lord in August 2007, in Sao Paulo, and extradited him to the United States the following year. A court there convicted him on four counts: conspiracy, bribery, money laundering and using false documents. The Americans sentenced Abadia to 30 years in prison.
In April 2008, authorities auctioned about 3,000 objects that belonged to the trafficker at an event held at the Jockey Club in Sao Paulo. The event earned about $600 thousand dollars.
Among the items sold at the 2008 auction were a watch, which sold for $50 thousand and a bicycle, which sold for $5 thousand. Everything on the auction block sold, including various items branded as “Hello Kitty,” a crowbar, and underwear.