Five new BMW vehicles confiscated under the Proceeds of Crime (Civil) Confiscation Act (POCA) of 2008 by the Financial Crime Investigation Unit (FCIU) sold for R8,420,000 following a court order by the Supreme Court on September 7, 2020.
The five brand new Hybrid BMWs- X5 40e 2018, 3000cc were seized by FCIU because the importer, a former tax auditor Peter Roselie, was unable to prove that the funds used the purchase the vehicles did not originate through criminal conduct among other reasons related to inconsistencies with regard to unmatching documents, insurance cover, shipment and real cost of the undervalued vehicles.
The case, judged by the former Chief Justice Mathilda Twomey, ruled in favor of government for the vehicles to be auctioned and the money be transferred in the government accounts.
The five-round auction led by sworn auctioneer and appraiser Willis Prosper, took place at the NSC Hall, Roche Caiman, yesterday morning in front of a large crowd of bidders and onlookers.
Jean-Baptiste Hortere of Takamaka was the highest bidder for a vehicle, starting at a reserved auction price of R900,000, where he bid R2 million, for one among the two alpine white BMWs, in the fifth and final round of the auction which took approximately half an hour.
In the first round, the first alpine white vehicle went to Patrick Sinon of Glacis, for R1,570,000, on behalf of Palm Cars, Anse à la Mouche, while in the second and third round auctions, the carbon black metallic and the black sapphire metallic vehicles were taken by Jonathan Henwood of Baie Lazare, at a shared price of R3.2 million, on behalf of Lazare Properties. The other black sapphire metallic BMW, which went under the hammer in the fourth round was taken by businessman Gerard Waye-Hive of Point Conan, for a sum of R1,650,000.
The bidders were able to drive away with their vehicles yesterday upon transferring the money into the government accounts.
Sergeant Dave Jeanne from FCIU said the auction was beyond their expectation with regard to the bids on the vehicles most of which were sold at almost double the reserved price.
“I would like to pass a message to other people involved in criminal activities that it will be in this manner, besides other types of sentences, that their belongings will end up if they continue to indulge in criminal activities,” he said.
Asked whether the FCIU has other methods (such as a lottery) that could give the less fortunate a chance to participate in at least some of such exclusive auctions for properties seized by the state, Mr Jeanne said methods of disposal of the items depend on the authorities and they were going according to the court ruling.