Wales

What happens when seized goods go up for auction?

A black and rose gold rolex Daytona with a gold band Image copyright Wilsons Auctions
Image caption This Rolex - worth almost £30,000 - could go for considerably less at an auction

Have you ever wanted to own a Rolex but never been able to afford one?

An auction taking place in Newport could give you a chance, as a series of items seized from criminals are going under the hammer.

Along with two Rolex watches, there is also a Ferrari, a selection of designer trainers and a few houses, giving the lots a combined value of about £2.3m.

Once sold, the money raised from the sales goes back to the police and into community schemes.

Image copyright Wilsons Auctions
Image caption These Christian Louboutin trainers are worth hundreds of pounds

A list of seized items and their values:

  • A rose gold Rolex Daytona - £27,450
  • A Ferrari 360 Modena linked to drug trafficking offences in Malta - £70,000
  • A rare Wimbledon Dial Rolex Datejust - £8,900
  • A five-bedroom detached villa near Murcia, Spain - £225,000
  • A freehold mid-terrace property in Ilford, London - £550,000
  • A selection of designer trainers from Christian Louboutin, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Balenciaga, Burberry - £600 each
Image copyright Wilsons Auctions
Image caption These studded, snakeskin Christian Louboutin shoes were confiscated from a convicted drug dealer
Image copyright Wilsons Auctions
Image caption This villa near Murcia in south-eastern Spain is one of the lots up for sale

Aidan Larkin, one of the directors of Wilsons Auctions told BBC Radio Wales Breakfast with Claire Summers the auction was selling an "incredible collection of assets" and a great opportunity to "bag a bargain".

"It's our job to take these assets that were once owned by criminals and get them to the market and get them for sale for the general public," he said.

"If you saw this £27,000-watch in a shop window and someone said 'do you want it for £14,000 or £13,000' - half its retail price - most people wouldn't even ask [where it came from]."

Several of the items - including the watches and the trainers - were seized from Stefan Miller, who was jailed for 11 years in March 2018 after officers from Gloucestershire Police seized more than £63,000 worth of goods from him.

Image copyright Wilsons Auctions
Image caption This Ferrari 360 Modena was seized in Malta in relation to drug trafficking offences

The Ferrari 360 Modena was confiscated by the Maltese government recovery bureau before being transported to the UK.

"The UK has a really good model for dealing with seized assets. So good that other countries are asking can they sort of piggy back on to this, so we're the contractor that manages these assets," Mr Larkin said.

"Instead of trying to sell the car in Malta, where people may be put off because it's a small island and they know the owner, it's quite often assets are moved to different countries to be sold."

All of the items are being sold at the Wilsons Auction house in Newport from 19:30 BST on Wednesday.

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