OPEN HOUSE: Beautiful estate in Northern Buenos Aires neighborhood, 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, gourmet kitchen, private gardens and pool. Realtors may threaten you at gunpoint; steal your cash, electronics and other valuables; and finance their acquisition of arms and illegal drugs. Sunday 3:00-5:00.
In what is a cautionary tale for foreign investors looking to purchase real estate in Buenos Aires, local law enforcement just announced the bust of a crime ring with alleged ties to a well-known Buenos Aires real estate brokerage.
Through an investigation carried out since December, the police discovered the merry band of twenty-somethings were robbing clients of the brokerage at gunpoint in their homes or on the street. Plotting the kidnap of clients’ children, robbing jewelry stores and trafficking illegal drugs were some of their other alleged extracurricular activities.
The police now have four members of “The Auctioneer’s Gang” in custody and four others are fugitives including the 27-year old son of the brokerage owner. According to Clarin’s Leonardo De Corso, one of the suspects in custody who was working for the brokerage is also suspected of trafficking several different drugs including marijuana, cocaine and a synthetic drug named “Avatar” for the film characters that appear on the pills.
Yet another black eye for a real estate market already lacking in professionalism, reliability and transparency. (Full Story in Spanish)