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Argentine cops put police drones to work finding undeclared mansions

Mariella Moon, @mariella_moon
September 26, 2014
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A lot of people fear that drones might invade their privacy (and for good reason), but put to good use, UAVs can help monitor crops, film spectacular aerial views and, in this case, capture tax-evading millionaires. Law enforcement agencies in South America have been using drones widely to aid in their investigations, such as finding drug smuggling routes. So, when they suspected that some properties registered as empty lots in a wealthy Buenos Aires area aren't exactly "empty," they dispatched some of their $10,000 drones equipped with cameras to take pictures of the properties. As you might have guessed, instead of coming up with pictures of dirt and overgrown bushes, the UAVs took home snapshots of huge mansions replete with swimming pools. The homeowners are now facing some serious fines, and the government expects to earn roughly $2 million in taxes from the hidden mansions.

According to The Telegraph, South American countries have been buying relatively more affordable drones from Israel and Mexico by the bulk -- something that's raised concerns among the region's human rights activists. As Alejandro Sanchez of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs told the publication, cheap drones have great potential in the area, but "unfortunately, throughout Latin America's history, the abuse of power tends to happen quite often."

[Image credit: Getty Images]

In this article: argentina, drones, TaxEvasion
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