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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 January 2008, 12:36 GMT
'Drug lord' Brazil homes for sale
By Gary Duffy
BBC News, Sao Paulo

Police photos of Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia
Ramirez Abadia faces drug trafficking charges
Property belonging to a man said to be one of Colombia's most wanted drug traffickers is to go on sale at an auction in Brazil.

The belongings of Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia, arrested by Brazilian police in August last year near Sao Paulo, are valued at around $3.2m (1.6m).

Bids for the four houses and a farm seized by police in Brazil can be made online or in person at the auction.

The accused remains in custody awaiting extradition to the United States.

He faces charges related to drug smuggling and murder.

'Property portfolio'

By any standards, the man suspected of being one of Colombia's leading drug traffickers appears to have gathered together an impressive portfolio of property in Brazil, which is now up for auction.

In the exclusive resort of Angra dos Reis, a large swimming pool can be seen at the front of the house, and the same is true at a farm in Rio Grande do Sul.

The sale of an extensive and elegant white property in the coastal city of Florianopolis presumably does not include money totalling more than 100,000 euros (74,000) that was found there by the police.

Bags of coca paste
Colombia is the source of much of the world's cocaine

Also up for sale is the property near to Sao Paulo where the original arrest took place, and which at the time was reported to contain 10 televisions, a gym and a pool, as well as six cars.

Altogether the properties are said to be worth around 3.2m.

It is perhaps not a total surprise that the man known as "Lollipop" should have accumulated such a wide array of homes.

The American state department once estimated his wealth to be around $1.8bn (0.9bn).

The auctioneers say bidders will be guaranteed anonymity. There are already a number of interested parties.

The auction is allowed to go ahead, even though the legal process is not concluded, to avoid the empty properties losing value.

However, in case of an acquittal the money is kept in a bank account and can be returned to the original owner.

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