Luxury car, diamond rings and a plane among seized criminal loot up for auction
A £100,000 plane recovered from an attempted £5m drug smuggling operation will be up for grabs at one of Northern Ireland's most unusual auctions.
Luxury cars, including a limited edition Porsche Cayman valued at £30,000 and Harley-Davidson motorcycles worth £7,000 apiece are also going under the hammer.
Some of the most prestigious items on offer will be a selection of personal number plates, expected to fetch £40,000 each.
Auctioneer and group asset recovery manager Aidan Larkin said that "an eclectic mix of repossessed goods" will go to the highest bidder next Thursday.
"The biggest selling point with government auctions like these is that they're unreserved and that means everything must go on the day," he said.
"A traditional auction has set reserves which means the item doesn't sell if you don't achieve that reserve, but everything in this auction - from the Rolex Daytona watches worth £30,000 each, to the jewellery and the designer handbags, are simply sold to the highest bidder."
The Cessna P210 Centurion plane - valued by Mr Larkin at up to £100,000 - was recovered during a law enforcement agency operation that took place in North Yorkshire last November after an English pilot attempted to smuggle drugs with an estimated street value of £5m from Germany into the UK.
The 1980 aircraft was later confiscated and delivered to Wilsons Auctions for disposal at next week's first Unreserved Prestige Auction in Mallusk.
Mr Larkin said there has been a lot of interest in the plane - which is one of only seven on the UK and Irish register - with people coming from across Europe and the UK to view it.
"There is a massive bargain to be had because it will go for the highest price on the day," he said.
"It doesn't matter if that is £20,000, the plane has to be sold.
"There was a Scottish pilot here this morning whose personal project would be to get it back up into the air again," he added.
"The local flying houses have also been up to look at it so we'll have to wait to see if they bid."
Alongside the plane, the auction will give bidders an opportunity to pick up various high-value items confiscated from criminals at knock-down prices.
These range from solitaire diamonds to Cartier and Rolex watches, as well as designer handbags from illustrious fashion houses including Prada, Mulberry and Louis Vuitton.
Mr Larkin said diamond rings and bracelets are also available and he added motorbike fans could snap up the same model of Harley-Davidson that appeared in the Terminator 2 film.
"A new Harley-Davidson motorcycle costs about £15,000 whereas it could go for between £5,000 and £7,000 at auction so that's a great saving," he said.
"Then again, if the highest bid is £4,000 then it'll go for £4,000."
Mr Larkin said they would expect the Porsche Cayman to go for between £20,000 and £30,000.
"Probably the most prestigious items we have in the auction are a selection of individual number plates, including 2RC and 8RC," he added.
"These number plates last changed hands for £50,000 each - which makes them worth more than most cars on the road."
Visit www.wilsonsauctions.com for details on the early entries for the auction. Online bidding will also be available.