A drug cartel safehouse the place the Mexican crime lord generally known as El Chapo as soon as escaped down a secret tunnel has been raffled off to a thriller winner.
Joaquín Guzmán, then chief of the highly effective Sinaloa Cartel, is alleged to have slipped away by way of a ladder hidden beneath his bathtub whereas Mexican marines battered down his steel-reinforced door in 2014.
However the fortunate holder of raffle ticket number one,438,619 might want to do some vital remodelling in the event that they need to repeat that trick, after the Mexican authorities lined the tunnel with a concrete slab and new tiles.
The previous safehouse, having beforehand didn’t promote at public sale with a beginning bid of $130,000, was certainly one of 20 impounded properties up for grabs in Mexico’s independence day lottery on Wednesday. The proceeds will go to athletes who participated within the Tokyo Olympics.
Ernesto Prieto, director common of Mexico’s Institute to Return Stolen Items to the Folks (Indep), mentioned the raffle’s objective was to show “onerous properties with heavy upkeep prices” into “a tangible profit for society”.
Photographs launched on Tuesday present that this was no luxurious gangster’s paradise. It’s a far cry from the $3.8-million Mexico Metropolis mansion additionally given away, not to mention drug lord Pablo Escobar’s palatial Naples Property in Colombia, with its now-wild hippopotamuses.
As an alternative, Guzmán’s outdated bolthole is an unassuming 2,800 sq ft dwelling within the quiet neighbourhood of Culiacán, the Sinaloa Cartel’s hometown, which had stood empty for years after the marines broken it in February 2014.
It’s a bare-walled bungalow with low ceilings and bars on the home windows, throughout the street from a college and surrounded by a tall steel fence. Indep has torn out the safety cameras that used to observe its each nook and given it a contemporary coat of white paint.
Officers advised the Related Press that they had been shocked it had received any consideration, and neighbours mentioned they hadn’t identified who owned it. Indep’s web site merely listed it as “Casa en Culiacán”.
It does, nevertheless, have one vital amenity: a storm drain proper subsequent door that allowed Guzmán to construct his tunnel beneath the bath, linking it to 6 different houses.
The 64-year-old gangster, whose nickname means ‘Shorty’ in Spanish, was famed for his use of underground tunnels, not solely to evade arrest but additionally to maneuver medication beneath the US border, incomes him the sobriquet “lord of the tunnels”.
Six days after the raid in 2014, he was arrested within the metropolis of Mazatlán. But the next yr he escaped from a most safety jail by way of one other tunnel, fastidiously dug from inside a cinderblock home on a recently-bought scrap of land into a selected bathe stall.
Guzmán is now serving a life sentence within the US for drug trafficking, homicide, kidnapping and numerous different crimes.