MEXICO CITY, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Luxury properties that once belonged to Mexican drug kingpins were auctioned on Sunday, raising nearly 3 million U.S. dollars for government welfare programs, Mexico's Service for Asset Management and Disposal (SAE) said.
According to a press release by the SAE, the Mexican government sold a third of some 27 properties put on auction, ranging from houses with swimming pools and escape tunnels, ranches to luxury apartments, and raised 56.6 million pesos (2.9 million dollars).
Among the nine properties sold was the luxury apartment in which drug lord Arturo Beltran Leyva, alias "El Barbas," was killed by marines during a raid in the central Mexican city of Cuernavaca in December 2009, said the SAE.
The auction was part of the government's push to recoup some of the wealth amassed by the country's organized crime groups, the SAE said.
Most of the money raised through the auction will be spent to alleviate poverty in mountain communities in the southern state of Guerrero, which have been ravaged by drug trafficking violence, SAE Director Ricardo Rodriguez Vargas said in the press release.
The rest will be used to fund anti-drug programs for youth, he added.
Later this month, seized jewelry will be put on auction, the SAE said.