Formatted text plus images via Drug Dealer Auction: Philip Meadows Treasure Trove Sold To Raise Money For Crime Fighting UK News Sky News.
A treasure trove of fine art and antiques seized from a drugs baron has been sold to raise money for crime fighting.
The collection, which includes a 17th century painting by a Dutch master and rare Oriental carved ivory figures, once belonged to Philip Meadows, who bought them with the proceeds of dealing in class A drugs.
Meadows, now 70, was in possession of cocaine worth almost £150,000 when he was arrested in Doncaster three years ago.
During a life of crime, he amassed over 100 works of art, pieces of silver, precious ornaments, jewellery and fine furniture.
He is believed to have benefited to the tune of more than £500,000.
Bidders packed the Sheffield auction room as the criminal’s collection went on sale. Many of them were unaware of the precise origin of the lots.
But Graham Wragg, of South Yorkshire Police’s economic crime unit, reassured the public that nothing was stolen or looted.
He said: “These are high quality items and though they were once owned by a criminal they are all being legitimately sold.
“This is the first time we have done something like this. You don’t often get drug dealers spending their money on fine art so this is an unusual sale.
“We are committed to ensuring that no one will benefit from crime. Why should they?
“Some of the money raised from this auction will come back into the community to benefit local people and causes.”
Meadows drove expensive cars and owned homes in West Sussex and Malaga in Spain, splitting his time between the two properties.
Many of the items he collected were auctioned well in excess of the estimated price.
A Chinese carved and painted figure, expected to raise about £400, eventually sold for £4,400.
One 18th century Dutch school painting with an upper estimate of £250 sold for £1,900.
Liz Dashper, a director of Sheffield Auction Gallery, said the criminal “knew his stuff”.
“He is obviously very knowledgeable. These are not things he bought by accident. He would have to have known what he was looking for,” she added.
“They are not the kind of things you would stumble across and think: ‘That looks pretty.'”
It is not known whether or not Meadows – now serving a nine-and-a-half year jail term – will get to know about the proceeds of his former collection.