A light aircraft used by an international drugs trafficking gang to fly cocaine worth £1.7million into a Northamptonshire airfield is being sold on eBay.
The plane used to fly the drugs into Deenethorpe, near Corby, in 2011 is being listed with a reserve price of £12,000.
It is thought to be the first time a police force has seized an aeroplane under the Misuse of Drugs Act and progressed to selling it. The money made from the sale can be used for policing activities and community projects.
The gang behind the plot were jailed for a total of 37 years in November last year. Class A drugs were driven from Amsterdam to France, where they were loaded onto the aircraft and flown into the county.
Christopher McGlone, aged 27, of Occupation Road, Corby was sentenced to five years; James McGlone, aged 30, of Occupation Road, Corby was sentenced to six years; Wayne Burgess, aged 36, of Westfields Road, Corby was sentenced to four years; Adel Chouhaib, aged 33, of Lingfield Walk, Corby was sentenced to 10 years; Richard Murray, aged 48, of Greenhill Rise, Corby was sentenced to four years and Abdelilah Hilali, aged 34, of Marsham Street, London was sentenced to eight years.
The plane was confiscated by officers from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU).
Detective Inspector Greg Maides, senior investigating officer from EMSOU said: “When a case such as this results in convictions at court and considerable prison sentences for the defendants, we do not see that as the end of the matter. We have the legislative powers to seize criminal assets to strip criminals of their possessions at every stage of the investigation.
“The fact that this plane was used to commit crime by transporting drugs into the UK meant that it could be forfeited under the Misuse of Drugs Act. In addition, action is being taken under the Proceeds of Crime Act to identify other assets belonging to the offenders, who clearly intended to make significant financial gains from their criminal activity. The money made from the sale of those assets can be used for a variety of purposes, ranging from law enforcement work to community projects.
“It is relatively common to confiscate a criminal’s car, but it’s not often that we make an application to seize a plane so we can’t really predict how the bidding is likely to go. That said, whoever does buy it will do so knowing that their money is being put to good use and that they have helped deprive these offenders of a valuable asset that they planned to use to carry out their crimes.”
The plane will be listed on eBay at 8pm tonight and can be viewed here.