In various countries around the world, the police can seize your vehicle if you're not carrying insurance and if you're involved in a crime. Vehicles aren't the only thing up for grabs when you're committing a crime either. The police are also able to take your real property as well, meaning they can take your home—or even property you've loaned or leased to other people if they're breaking the law.
Many of the vehicles that are seized by police are never recovered by the owners. They're literally left in an impound lot to rust and waste away. These aren't just daily drivers either; some of the vehicles seized cost millions of dollars, and for one reason or another, the owners never retrieve their vehicles. This is either because they don't have the means to recover their property or because police permanently seize the property in connection with a case. This is especially true if the owner is involved in selling, manufacturing, or distributing drugs. When a vehicle is seized, police often use the vehicle as a rolling billboard to deter would-be criminals.
I was shocked to learn that the police seize even supercars for no insurance or for involvement in various other criminal acts. However, it's true. Just take a look at these 20 vehicles that were seized by police for different reasons.
16 Lamborghini Murcielago - Seized as Proceeds from Crime
The United Kingdom police seized these vehicles and displayed them outside of Lloyd House in West Midlands England. The vehicles shown include not only the beautiful Lamborghini Murcielago but also two others: a BMW X6 and a Bentley. Each has a cute "PAY BACK" sign on the front.
If this isn't enough to make people walk the straight line, I don't know what is. However, these criminals must not have gotten the memo because their cars sit on display to warn other criminals to change their detrimental behavior before they become victims of their own crimes.
For big-time criminals, there's no second chance when it comes to their car. If you commit the crime, you'll do time. So, please... no matter what car you're driving, keep your car's insurance in your vehicle, and don't use your vehicle in the commission of a crime.
15 Lamborghini Aventador - No Insurance
The owner of this Lamborghini Aventador must be sick about his super cool glow-in-the-dark Lambo being seized by police. The owner of the glow-in-the-dark Lamborghini is a member of the royal family of Qatar. The 24-year-old was driving around London like many ultra-rich young men from the Middle East when police noticed that he had no front license plate on the vehicle.
When Nasser Al-Thani was pulled over, he was unable to produce the vehicle's insurance, so the police in London loaded the over-the-top ride on the back of a flatbed and hauled it away to an impound lot. However, the vehicle is displayed with a sign that says the vehicle was seized by police for being uninsured.
14 Two Ferraris - Public Official's Criminal Activity
Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue is the Vice President and son of the President of Equatorial Guinea. The VP was convicted of money laundering and fraud in 2017. At this time, the court ruled that the French government would keep more than $100 million worth of property. He also received a jail sentence of three years and orders to pay back nearly $35 million in restitution.
Obiang didn't attend his own trial. Several very rare cars, a 76-meter yacht, the ruler's supercar fleet, a mansion, Renoir paintings, and more were taken away. The 11 cars confiscated include a Bentley, a couple of Ferraris, an Aston Martin, a Rolls-Royce, a Maserati, a Maybach, and others. The vehicles were worth more than $6 million. Yet, Teodorin doesn't seem upset and is still posting pictures of himself living a lavish lifestyle with the funds he's embezzled from the people of Equatorial Guinea.
13 Ferrari - Uninsured Motorist
Next on the list is another Ferrari owned by another member of a ruling family. This time, the owner is Sheikh Rashid bin Husum Al Nino, the son of the ruler of Ajman. Police in London seized the vehicle for not having auto insurance. Sheikh Rashid posted regarding the incident on Instagram, where he claimed that the police gave him the vehicle back after finding out who he was. He also stated, "Arab money talks."
The police department stated that it doesn't matter who owned a vehicle. The owner can get their vehicle back if he or she follows the proper procedure and has the correct documentation. They also said that Sheikh Rashid's status as the son of a world ruler had nothing to do with the incident.
12 Corvette Z06
The Corvette Zo6 is a monster of a car with modifications that give it more than 1,000 HP. The mods were completed by the previous owner, a drug dealer. The supercar is now the property of the New Braunfels Texas Police Department, and it was obtained when the dealer's property was raided.
The seizure included several other cars, guns, money, and real-estate property totaling over $1 million. It's another example of why selling drugs and committing crimes never really pay. Most of the criminals who have property seized don't even have enough to pay their attorney fees when they get caught, and they end up serving long jail sentences as a result of their actions.
11 Lamborghini Huracan
A white Lamborghini was impounded by police when police pulled over a 34-year-old drug dealer. The dealer was arrested in connection with high-scale drug-related crimes. After the arrest, police special forces raided three homes and seized a BMW E90, a 2015 Mercedes McLaren, and a 2016 Lamborghini, as well as more than $70,000 in cash, laptops, cell phones, banking documents, and various other items.
The special-forces officers in Sydney investigating the crimes informed news outlets that they expected further arrests and possibly other seizures in connection with the case. These dealers associates better watch their cars because these special forces officers aren't playing around with criminals.
10 Bugatti Veyron
A drug dealer known as "Don CAR-leone" admitted to police that he had purchased several of his vehicles with the proceeds of his successful drug business. As a result of the admission, police seized his Bugatti Veyron and several other cars, including an ultra-rare Ferrari Enzo and three Rolls-Royce Phantoms.
Police also seized other property from the dealer. However, the dealer's wife and her property remain free, as he claimed he didn't fund his wife or her lifestyle despite her expenses in excess of $17,000 a month. The drug dealer bragged about his massive car collection on several auto enthusiast forums before being caught. I bet he's not happy about the police seizing his trophies, but that's what you can expect when you use drug money to buy property.
9 Porsche 911 Carrera
Police use this Porsche 911 Carrera in a campaign against drug dealers. The campaign aimed at youths tries to deter them from committing drug-related offenses. Police added lights to the top of the sports car, as well as a custom paint job and a sign across the vehicle's windshield that reads "seized." Police all over the world are using this measure to attack the growing number of drug offenders. These campaigns add insult to injury for criminals who lose it all when they're caught in the commission of a crime.
These criminals have no rights when it comes to the property they buy with drug- and other crime-related funds. Unlike insurance offenders who are mostly allowed to retrieve their vehicles after providing the proper documentation, these dealers are out of luck when it comes to recovering their property, no matter how much it's worth.
8 Audi RS6 - Uninsured Motorist
A 24-year-old driver is probably crying right now over his RS6 Audi valued at more than $112,000, which police seized when they found he had no insurance upon pulling him over. The Newcastle police in England loaded the sports car onto a flatbed trailer with a sign on the front windshield alerting the public that the vehicle was seized by police for not having insurance.
In addition, the Newcastle police also tweeted a photo of the vehicle with a caption that says, “We seized this Audi RS6 worth around £80,000 for no insurance - we don’t just stop the bangers! #WeWillCatchYou." This is a pretty compelling reason for motorists to keep their vehicles insured, especially when they own cars valued at more than $100,000.
7 Audi R8 - Uninsured Motorist
This is yet another vehicle seized by police for not having insurance. The police tweeted a photo of the vehicle with the tweet "Officers whilst conducting enquiries in @Washwood-Police area have stopped and seized a[n] Audi R8 for no insurance."
Driving uninsured has never been a good idea because if you get in a wreck, you're not covered for the damage to your vehicle or anyone else's vehicle you hit. This is the reason the police are cracking down on the motorists who don't have insurance.
So, if you're driving without the required minimum insurance, please get a policy to cover your ride—especially if you're driving a car that goes zero to 60 in 3.3 seconds like this R8 Spyder confiscated by police.
6 Modified Acura Integra and Others - Illegal Street Racers
A vehicle owner looks on as his vehicle and others are crushed by police after the drivers were caught illegally racing their cars in Rialto, California. One of the owners is Charles Hoang who souped up his 1998 Acura Integra to compete with other street racers.
The teen's car was put in an oversized trash compactor, and he was allowed to watch with other vehicle owners as the tires popped and the glass smashed. Police hoped this would make an impact on the illegal street-racing community after nearly 13 people died in accidents believed to be caused by illegal racing in just three short months.
Street racing is popular in Los Angeles, specifically, in the Riverside and the San Bernardino counties, because the well-kept streets have large lanes that are easier to race in. However, the illegal races are extremely dangerous, especially with inexperienced 18-year-old drivers at the wheel.
5 Rolls Royce Phantom - Reckless Uninsured Driver
Police pulled over the driver of a Rolls-Royce Phantom when the driver was found driving recklessly. Not only was the driver driving crazy, but he was also flashing his lights at other drivers while driving above the posted speed limits. The driver was so distracted by his own crazy driving that he didn't even notice the unmarked police officer driving behind him. Then, the officer pulled the car over and found that the driver didn't have the required insurance needed to operate the vehicle. So, the officer confiscated the vehicle to protect the vehicle's owner and other citizens. The officers who pulled the car over weren't sure if the driver was the owner of the car. So, during the investigation, the police held the vehicle in a Manchester impound lot.
Hopefully, if the driver wasn't the rightful owner, whoever owns it will be able to get the car back from the impound lot.
4 Dodge Challenger - Drug Dealer
Police officers in Concord, New Hampshire seized this Dodge Challenger from a drug dealer. They decided to keep the vehicle instead of selling it because the police department would only receive around $12,000 from the vehicle at auction. Forty percent of the proceeds go to the city, while the department only keeps the remaining 60 percent from the sale of the vehicles at auction. So, rather than lose part of the value of the car, they decided it would be better to use it for community outreach.
The department says that people around the city love the police car, which is painted to look like a member of its fleet. The vehicle isn't used to transport criminals or outfitted with the standard equipment that comes on a cruiser, though. The police already received positive feedback from the city on their decision and will use the vehicle at events like the Special Olympics.
3 Maserati - Uninsured Motorist
A gold Maserati owned by the son of a Pakistani billionaire is loaded onto the back of a flatbed wrecker when police find the teenage driver driving with no insurance. The self-proclaimed "golden child" says that the car is just one of several vehicles he has access to drive. Other vehicles in his fleet totaling more than $1.4 million include a Rolls-Royce and a Range Rover.
The teen's vehicle has "L" plates, which indicate that the driver is a learner. The police said they pulled the vehicle over because it seems like an expensive car for a learner to be driving. The billionaire's son did get his vehicle back, though. He also mentioned that next time, he would drive his insured Rolls-Royce, which he posed in for a picture and posted to social media. It seems that the police really don't care if you're rich when it comes to being properly insured.
2 Lamborghini Veneno Roadster - Seized from the Vice President of Equatorial Guinea
Police in Geneva, Switzerland seized a white Lamborghini Veneno Roadster and other vehicles from Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the Vice President of Guinea also known as "Teodorin." Teodorin is said to be a playboy with expensive taste. His expensive taste isn't a problem, though, but his salary of $100,000 a year isn't nearly enough to cover the cost of his many lavish cars and residences throughout the world.
Governments from around the world aimed to hit the ruler where it hurt by seizing his properties, furnishings, cash, and cars. Police from the United States and France also seized supercars and property from the corrupt ruler, and he faces jail time in several countries if he decides to enter those countries and is caught. The Veneno is one of only 9 built by Lamborghini, so this one will be difficult for Equatorial Guinea's VP to replace. Hopefully, he'll change his ways as he sees his lavish property seized by officials from around the world.
1 5 BMWs - Illegal Street Racers
Five street racers lost their cars when police took the vehicles to the impound after they had caught the drivers racing. Illegal street racing has become a major problem in many countries, and it puts not only the vehicle's driver but also innocent citizens at risk. Police around the world have no choice but to seize the vehicles in these situations.
Simply warning the public of the dangers of street racing hasn't worked. So, officers have to implement harsher punishments to get their message across. The reason there's such a push in this direction is the growing number of fatalities in street-racing-related accidents.
In the past few years, there have been more young people purchasing and driving expensive sports cars. The problem is big in London, Beijing, and apparently in North Carolina, where these vehicles were impounded.
Sources: The Guardian; Frederick News Post; ABC News