Loss on Swann car likely

Taxpayers could take a $100,000 loss when a Rolls-Royce linked to convicted fraudster Michael Swann goes to auction.

A 1922 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost was discovered following an attempt to remove a container at Port Otago's Dunedin container yard last year.

A police investigation linked the vehicle to Mr Swann, who in 2004 paid $160,000 to a Christchurch man for the vehicle, which had never been warranted or registered in New Zealand.

This week, the vehicle was listed for sale with Turners Auction on the North Shore.

The auction sale price estimate is between $60,000 and $80,000.

In an affidavit dated March 28, 2010, Mr Swann stated, ''I can definitely say that there is nothing by way of hidden or missing property.''

He was released from prison just over a year ago, and remains on parole until May 2018.

After the Rolls-Royce was discovered, he told detectives, ''What happened, it happened while I was inside, and it wasn't anything to do with me.''

He remains subject to a $6 million pecuniary order, meaning any property recovered up to that amount could be used to satisfy the order made under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Detective Senior Sergeant John Ferguson, of Dunedin, said police were pleased to recover the vehicle, and delighted the proceeds from its sale would be returned to the Government.

''Police were able to retrieve this vehicle, and others, as the direct result of information we received from members of the public, and we thank those members of the public who passed on this information.''

hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz

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