Former Italian Consul Arrested Again and Hotel Guests Evicted

Playa del Carmen – Hotel La Tortuga, located in downtown Playa del Carmen, once again made headlines after a group of policemen secured the property, asking all the guests to vacate and placing yellow caution tape and seals on hotel doors.

A little more than two years ago this same hotel was seized by authorities during a legal process where the alleged owner, former consul of Italy in Playa del Carmen was also arrested.


 The State Attorney General’s Office (FGE) seized what was the “Hotel La Tortuga”, allegedly owned by Andrea Giuseppe Sabbia, who was also arrested this afternoon.

An investigation for possible procedural fraud against an agent of the Public Ministry, brought by the Special Prosecutor’s Office in Combating Corruption was carried out early afternoon at the hotel which is located on 10th Avenue between 10th and 12th streets. The hotel was half full of tourists at the time. 

The alleged owner was handcuffed and transported in the open pick up patrol car. He claimed that this was a matter of a corrupted process against an agent of the Public Ministry and that the seized properties belong to an American company. He also claimed that the order specifically mentions three lots, when the hotel property consists of four. Lastly, Sabbia complained that the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office cannot act against an agent of the Public Ministry, since that falls under the jurisdiction of the internal affairs division.

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Andrea Sabbia, who was consul of Italy until 2012, has been embroiled in a lawsuit against his brother, Giulio, for almost a decade, even reporting him to the Prosecutor’s Office for alleged “influence peddling”.

It was on December 18, 2019 that elements of the Quintana Roo Attorney General’s Office seized this hotel for the first time.