Public shop 25 possible high life-living criminals after Leicestershire police auctioncar on eBay
Police are investigating more than 20 people reported to be living off the proceeds of crime.
The suspects' names were passed to detectives following a publicity drive by Leicestershire Police which saw a convicted criminal's sports car auctioned on the internet.
The Audi R8 two-seater sports car was put on Leicestershire Police's eBay shop last Friday to launch a campaign to encourage people to inform on neighbours who are living the high life on the back of crime.
When the auction on the car – which cost its former owner £95,000 two years ago – closed early yesterday, the highest of the 83 submitted bids was £73,850.
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However, that did not match the force's reserve price – which has not been disclosed.
Officers were speaking to the bidder yesterday in the hope of reaching a compromise.
Detective Inspector Paul Wenlock, of the force's economic crime unit, said: "Crimestoppers has told us that, over the past week, there have been 25 pieces of intelligence passed to them and they have now passed that information to us.
"We don't normally get that number of calls about this area of crime in a week, so we're delighted with the results.
"The highest bid in the auction for the Audi did not reach our reserve price, although £73,850 is a lot of money.
"We are now talking to the person who submitted the highest bid at the close of the auction to see what we do next."
Zuffar Haq, vice-chairman of Leicestershire Crimestoppers, said: "There has been a tremendous response from the public. Some of the people they have mentioned will no doubt turn out to be entirely innocent.
"But if this leads to one criminal being arrested and having the proceeds of crime confiscated, then it will have been worth it.
"It is vital that information comes in and we want to thank everyone for ringing in."
The 2010 Audi belonged to 46-year-old Sapcote man Rubin Maxwell.
Leicester Crown Court heard in June that Maxwell could provide no evidence of how he had paid for it and other luxury items.
As a result, the court confiscated the car and more than £30,000 in cash and other assets.
He pleaded guilty to the offence of converting criminal property and his assets, including the car, were confiscated.
The car was on display throughout the day in the Highcross shopping centre, in Leicester and was featured twice in the Mercury in the past week.
Police said it was a symbol of their power to strip criminals of their ill-gotten gains under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
They are encouraging people to contact them if they believe they know people, such as the warehouse worker who owned the Audi, who are living well beyond their apparent means.
Leicestershire is the only British police force to operate an eBay shop to sell valuables seized from convicted criminals.
Half the proceeds of sales are divided between the force, the courts and the Crown Prosecution Service in Leicestershire.
The remainder is paid to central government, which distributes some of the money to good causes.
Contact Leicestershire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.