Police sell hardened criminals ill-gotten assets on eBay

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Jacobs watch, which sold on eBay for £9,500.00

They may be an elite police squad used to crack down on serious organised crime, but questions have been raised about Titan’s ability to pack parcels.

The North West Regional Organised Crime Unit has started to use eBay to sell off valuable goods seized from their battles with hardened criminals.

And while buyers have taken to the website to purchase items from luxury watches to blank VHS tapes, one user dared to criticise the way a new laptop was packed.

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White gold diamond ring, which sold for £530

Since September 21, 2013, Titan has registered 19 sales through online auction house eBay, raking in an incredible £17,228.81.

The force has received plenty of plaudits for their delivery times and customer relations – crucial for any online seller. Yet Titan has attracted criticism too, with one user commenting “pity about the very poor packing” and another complaining their laptop’s screen cover broke in the post.

But buyers have typically been very happy with the items that have gone under the virtual hammer. These include a Canon camcorder that sold for £447, five iPads which fetched a total of £986.14 and a TomTom sat nav that sold for £28.68.

But the real money-spinners have been items of jewellery.

The force picked up £3,900 for a white gold diamond-set bracelet and a whopping £9,500 for a large man’s Jacobs & Co watch.

The watch and necklace were seized during a 2010 investigation into a gang operating in Merseyside and West Lancashire which led to four men being jailed for more than 20 years.

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Vincent Graham

At a court hearing ringleader Vincent Graham, a one-legged cage fighter-turned drug baron from Southport, was told the jewellery, along with his other assets, were being confiscated to pay back the majority of the estimated £926,981 that he made from the drugs conspiracy.

At the time Det Supt Jason Hudson, head of operations at Titan, said: “Expensive jewellery, luxury furniture, fast cars – these trappings of wealth are things that most ordinary people can only dream of yet serious organised criminals have been enjoying them while blighting communities with their drugs and violence.

“Law enforcement agencies are using the Proceeds of Crime Act and court confiscation orders to their full potential and to hit criminals in the pockets as well as with prison. By using eBay we hope to sell criminals’ assets at the highest price we can.”

Since then the sales have taken off, and a spokesman for Merseyside police said the eBay auctions had been considered a “success”.

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