Auctions net German customs office 1 bln euros since 2002

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BERLIN, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- The German customs authorities generated 83.6 million euros (94.8 million U.S. dollars) last year by auctioning off seized or confiscated illegal products as well as third party offers, the customs office in Bad Hersfeld announced on Thursday.

Since its launch in 2002, the German customs office's online auction has generated more than one billion euros in sales, said the customs office.

Christine Lambrecht, state secretary at the German Ministry of Finance, said "with almost 600,000 auctions and over one billion euros in sales since its inception, the customs auction is another example of the successful work of the customs administration."

According to German customs officials, the number of sellers is constantly increasing. Almost 4,900 suppliers auction off their goods via the customs office's website, which is managed from Bad Hersfeld.

Noteworthy bids from past auctions include a British sports car -- a Lagonda V12 Cabriolet from 1938 -- which was auctioned off for 252,100 euros. The rare vintage car was owned by the King of Malaysia and ended up in the auction of the German customs after it was confiscated from a cocaine dealer in Munich.

Of course, not all confiscated items can be put up for auction. Weapons, narcotics, products from endangered animals and plants as well as fake brands are not sold but destroyed. Alcohol, however, is frequently auctioned off.

The German customs auctions are open to bidders of legal age (18 years) who register at Enditem

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