Drug smugglers' plane sells on eBay


A light aircraft used by drug smugglers to transport cocaine into Britain from France has sold for £17,000 on eBay, according to a report in the Guardian.

The plane, seized by Northamptonshire police under the Misuse of Drugs Act, was listed by the police force and found a buyer through the auction site on Monday evening.

The microlight aircraft – a Zenair Zodiac – was described as needing "considerable work" to make it airworthy.

The plane was offered for sale as a renovation project. It was listed as 16kg overweight and without keys or a Permit to Fly certificate.

Details added that when "new and complete", the aircraft was priced in the region of £30,000, and that the preferred method of payment was cheque or banker's draft.

Community funding
Monies raised from the unusual eBay lot will be directed into funding policing activities and community projects.

Northamptonshire's police and crime commissioner Adam Simmonds told the newspaper: "The sale of the plane and the interest from the public we've seen has been tremendous.

"It sold well above the reserve price and more than we expected to get. This sends a strong message to criminals that we will seize and sell their assets."

Police auctions
Every year thousands of items are seized by police as they investigate offences such as burglary, theft and fraud.

If efforts to reunite property with the rightful owners are unsuccessful, police forces are allowed by law to sell the goods and plough the money raised back into community initiatives.

Many police forces work with local auction houses to regularly sell off proeprty such as electrical items, household goods, tools, gardening equipment and bikes. However, more unusual or valuable items often end up on eBay or police disposal site, Bumblebee Auctions, to attract a wider audience.

In September, Leicestershire Police listed a £95,000 Audi R8 two-seater sports car on eBay, which previously belonged to a man who was convicted of converting criminal property.

Much cheaper items currently listed on Bumblebee Auctions include six Wedgewood napkin rings; a Hello Kity Walkie Talkie set and a Black and Decker cordless drill.

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