Abandoned classic car linked to fraudster

By Hamish McNeilly of the Otago Daily Times

Michael Swann and the E-Type jaguar sports car he is thought to be linked to.
Michael Swann and the E-Type jaguar sports car he is thought to be linked to.

A classic car connected to convicted fraudster Michael Swann has been found abandoned in a Christchurch street.

The red E-Type Jaguar was recovered from an undisclosed street by police last month.

Detective Senior Sergeant John Ferguson of Dunedin police confirmed police had previously been looking for the vehicle.

Police were not in a position to comment further on the car as a case was before the court. However, a previous list of Swann's assets subject to court confiscation orders includes a 1974 V12 E-Type Jaguar.

Another E-Type Jaguar had earlier been confiscated and sold for $53,000.

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"We're now preparing an application to put before the court to have the vehicle confiscated pursuant to the previously granted pecuniary order," Mr Ferguson said.

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

Swann, who lives and works in Christchurch as part of his release conditions, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Mr Ferguson said police would continue to act on any good information relevant to Swann.

He praised the "tenacity" of a detective working on the long-running case which, combined with a tip-off from the public, resulted in the car being recovered.

Last year, police recovered a 1922 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost linked to Swann which was found stashed in a container at Port Otago's Dunedin container yard.

A Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment spokeswoman confirmed the Official Assignee has $3,334,010.59 held in trust as a result of the sale of Swann's assets.

In relation to the 1922 Rolls Royce, the Official Assignee was conducting investigations into the manufacture, ownership and use of the vehicle, so it could be properly valued.

It was bought for $160,000 in 2004. An auction date for the vehicle was yet to be set.

The recovered E-Type Jaguar would be sold by Turners Auctions in Auckland in"due course".

Swann spent four years and eight months in jail for his part in defrauding the former Otago District Health Board of $16.9 million.

- Otago Daily Times

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