Criminals’ luxury goods auctioned for £2m-plus
NEWPORT A house in Florida, luxury cars and designer watches and clothes all seized from criminals have been auctioned off in Newport. The auction saw assets taken as the result of a £35 million money laundering case go under the hammer alongside luxury goods worth around £5.5 million on Wednesday. Bidders had the chance to buy watches by Rolex and Omega alongside Mercedes-benz cars and Land Rovers during the unreserved government auction at Wilsons Auctions. All 90 lots were sold and raised a total of £2.1 million. The assets came from a pensioner-led gang of 16 people who laundered £35 million in dirty money, who were jailed for a total of 73 years in 2015. Ringleader Harpal Singh Gill, 67, from Smethwick in the West Midlands, set up bogus clothing and textile companies to funnel the money from drugs deals out of the UK between 2007 and 2013. But the sophisticated money laundering operation was smashed by officers from the National Crime Agency who discovered thousands of pounds stashed in plastic bags. Birmingham Crown Court heard that 20 fake companies were used to funnel the money abroad through money service bureaus. Couriers were employed to collect bags of money from criminal gangs across the country.