KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians love a good deal and are willing to go the distance to get value for their money, even to an auction held by the Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department (NCID) here on Thursday.
The auction - the first by the division in three years - saw bidders travelling from Perak to the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman, here, to buy gold, jewellery and luxury watches at below-market prices.
The bidders did not seem to mind the notorious past of the valuables on auction, as the items under the hammer were once owned by convicted drug dealers.
One businessman from Ipoh successfully outbid the 50-odd crowd to buy 25 items, including a gold ring for RM1,990.
The man, who wished to only be known as Mr Wee, said the items were for his personal collection and to keep as an investment.
Most of the bidders of the day were goldsmiths and gold traders, like 41-year-old Gunasegaran from Klang.
He said his haul for the day was poor as bidders drove up the price of some of the gold items to above market price.
"I came yesterday to examine the quality of the jewellery and the value," said Gunasegaran, a frequent visitor of police auctions.
He said he was careful not to buy overpriced items or his business will face a loss.
The highest bid of the day went to 41-year-old first-time auction visitor Iwan, who purchased a 361.24gm gold chain and pendant for RM58,000.
"I own a factory that trades used gold. I buy the gold jewellery to melt into bars and then I sell it to other goldsmiths," he said, adding that he was happy with his purchase.
Iwan also bought several luxury watches to sell online.
The cheapest item of the day was a jade ring with a starting bid of RM7. It was sold for RM20 to a 20-year-old man who was accompanying his father.
However, there were no bidders for the most expensive item - a RM67,000 diamond-encrusted Piaget watch.
According to NCID property forfeiture division deputy director Asst Comm Raja Zahaudeen Raja Toran, the items were from drug cases dating back to 1998.
"The items were confiscated under the Dangerous Drugs Act. Some of them were proven to have been purchased using illegal income from selling drugs, and thus forfeited to the Government," he said.
He added that in some cases where the court could not prove that the items were illegally purchased, family members of the accused were given a three-month period to claim the seized items.
"Unclaimed items are also forfeited to the Government," he said.Proceeds from the auction will be channelled back to the Home Ministry.
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