Leicestershire Police is giving members of the public the chance to buy a £95,000 dream car.
The Audi R8 two-seater sports car was seized by the Force as part of a money laundering investigation.
The car subsequently formed part of a Confiscation Order granted at Leicester Crown Court in June this year.
Today (Friday, September 7) it is on public sale on Leicestershire Police’s eBay shop.
The Force hopes the story will prompt members of the public to pass on information about others who could be living lavish lifestyles through criminal means.
Detective Inspector Paul Wenlock leads the Force’s Economic Crime Unit. He said:
“We, working together with our partner agencies, will ensure that criminals do not profit from their crimes.
“We will use all of our criminal and civil powers to strip offenders of their ill gotten gains.
“Following a court order being granted the goods we have seized are sold with the proceeds going back into the public purse. This money is used to fund the fight against financial crime.
“We are very proud that we were the first Force in the country to open an eBay shop. It allows members of the public to bid directly for these items, and usually raises more for the public purse than sending the goods to traditional auctions.”
The car listed on eBay and on display today (Friday 7th September) was seized from a Leicestershire man, who could not explain how over £130,000 in cash had passed through his bank accounts. He pleaded guilty at court to an offence under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
DI Wenlock added:
“Investigations like this are often sparked by a call from a suspicious neighbour or work colleague. If somebody you know appears to be living an extravagant lifestyle which is beyond their means, then we would like to hear from you.
“It could be that they are involved in burglary, theft, fraud or drug dealing. Your call could assist in putting them before the courts and ensuring they are deprived of their criminal assets.
“You can call Leicestershire Police on 101 or you can call Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111.”
Leicestershire Police works closely with both the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to ensure criminals do not profit from their crimes.
Sonia Gilhespy, a Crown Advocate from CPS East Midlands, working for the regional asset recovery team, said:
“The law allows us to ensure that criminals do not profit from their crimes. Legislation under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) enables us to prove in court how much an offender has amassed from their criminal activities, and secure orders for this to be recovered from the offender. This can vary from small amounts from petty thieves to hundreds of thousands from major drug dealers and fraudsters.
“We can obtain court orders to freeze their assets, get monies from their bank accounts and make them sell their houses. If people try to conceal their assets and don’t pay up, they get sent to prison and will still owe the money when they get released.
“Our message to these criminals is that we will leave no stone unturned to find and confiscate their assets to ensure that crime does not pay.”
A spokesman for HMCTS said:
“We are committed to working closely with our Criminal Justice partners to ensure all confiscation orders are enforced in a timely and efficient manner in order to maximise the amount of money we recover from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).”
To take part in the online auction, or see how it is progressing, visit www.leics.police.uk/ebay