Mexican, Argentinian Police Repurpose Criminals' Luxury Cars

Police in Mexico and Argentina have repurposed luxury cars seized from criminals, even though officers have been accused of corruption and affiliating with organized crime groups, InSight Crime reported on Monday.

Guanajuato police seized ten luxury cars this past April (Kevauto/Wikimedia Commons)Guanajuato police seized ten luxury cars this past April (Photo: Kevauto CC BY-SA 4.0)

The journalism non-profit said that police in Guanajuato, Mexico obtained ten luxury vehicles, including a Chevrolet Camaro, a Mustang, two Cadillacs and a Corvette, each of which is valued between US$26,200 and $146,000. The force seized these cars in April.

Last year, police in Buenos Aires, Argentina received five vehicles, including an Audi and a Mercedes, that had been procured in a raid on drug traffickers. The cars were meant to patrol the capital’s province.

But considering the history of corruption in Argentinian and Mexican law enforcement, many see the police self-serving when confiscating criminal assets.

A great number of Mexicans do not trust the police, and believe they are linked to organized crime groups, reported Al Jazeera last year. A lack of funding and training does little to dissuade officers from engaging in corrupt activities. 

In Argentina, officers continue to be arrested for illicit behavior. A federal police chief, Marcelo Lepwalts, and five other officers were arrested in May for tampering with public documents, neglecting their duties and trafficking narcotics, reported the Argentinian newspaper Página/12. 

Police officers are not the only ones benefiting from seized criminal assets. Mexico’s president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, auctioned in May 82 luxury cars - including 

a Lamborghini Murcielago, three Porsches and dozens of armored trucks – previously owned by wealthy criminals, according to AFP. He said all proceeds will be donated to poor communities.