Police have confirmed a Rolls-Royce found stashed in a
container is linked to convicted fraudster Michael Swann, who
paid a ''substantial fee'' for the rare vehicle.
The vehicle, a 1922 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, was discovered
following an attempt to remove a container at Port Otago's
Dunedin container yard earlier this month.
Detective Senior Sergeant John Ferguson, of Dunedin CIB, said
records indicated Mr Swann paid a substantial fee for the
vehicle, which has updated body parts, including Rolls-Royce
Police could not confirm the amount paid for the vehicle, or
details of the investigation into its ownership.
The Otago Daily Times understands the vehicle has
never been registered in New Zealand.
However, police confirmed they were preparing a court
application to confiscate the vehicle, stored in a secure
Mr Swann was convicted for his role in the $16.9 million
fraud of the Otago District Health Board.
The vehicle was seized a week after Mr Swann, who remains
subject to a $6 million pecuniary order, was released on
parole to live at a Christchurch address.
Det Snr Sgt Ferguson said as part of that enforcement police
would be following up any new information from the public
regarding assets believed to belong to Mr Swann.
This included several new pieces of information received over
the past fortnight, he said.
In an affidavit dated March 28, 2010, Mr Swann stated ''I can
definitely say that there is nothing by way of hidden or
He was well known for his penchant for luxury items, with
Serious Fraud Office investigations establishing he spent
just under $8 million on cars and boats, $3.7 million on real
estate, a little over $1 million on food, liquor and
household items, with $1.1 million taken in cash.
A vintage car expert, who declined to be named, said it was
difficult to put a price on the vehicle other than to say it
was ''a valuable old Rolls-Royce''.
It was also not subject to confiscation orders of the court.
Those confiscation orders includes three vehicles yet to be
located; a 1960 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL, a 1993 Mercedes-Benz
E320 cabriolet and a 1974 V12 E-type Jaguar.
Assets seized include a 1938 Rolls-Royce Phantom III (paid
$200,000, sold by the Crown for $97,100), a 1925 Rolls-Royce
Phantom saloon (paid $110,000, sold for $63,000), and a 1929
Rolls-Royce Phantom II (paid $160,000, sold for $140,000).
His parole decision included special release conditions, but
none related to discovery of assets.
Kevin Dawkins, of the University of Otago's faculty of law,
said if discovery of assets was not part of Mr Swann's
release conditions, he could not be recalled to prison.