Clothes, designer bags and shoes confiscated from convicted criminals have been put up for auction by the public prosecution department in an effort to recover ill-gotten gains for the taxpayer and victims.
Shoes and accessories by Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Hermes are among the dozens of items goods up for grabs in the online auction, which starts on Friday. Viewing is now open.
The items, some of which are worth thousands of euros, are being sold via online auction BVA Auctions, which already sells criminals’ cars and boats on behalf of the public prosecutor.
‘We got the idea after detectives confiscated a second hand moped which might have been worth €2,000 but ignored the Hermes Birkin bag,’ spokeswoman Danielle van Nes said in a video about the auction. ‘But these bags are sometimes sold for five times that at auction.’
Officials are now being trained to recognise expensive accessories, which are authenticated by the auctioneers before being sold.
The goods being sold have been confiscated by police and tax officials during criminal investigations and are only authorised for sale if the suspect cannot prove how he or she made a living.
‘We see a lot of partners of suspects with bags or shoes costing thousands of euros, when there is not enough legal income available to pay for them,’ spokesman Joost van Bree said in a press release. ‘By confiscating them, we are showing that crime does not pay.’
If a suspect is eventually found not guilty and their possessions have been sold, they will get back the taxation value or the total amount earned at auction, a spokeswoman told DutchNews.nl.