Auction of drug criminal's film and TV memorabilia in Belfast attracting worldwide attention

Auction of drug criminal's film and TV memorabilia in Belfast attracting worldwide attention

The auction of a huge collection of movie and TV memorabilia seized from a criminal who turned a nuclear bunker into a drugs factory has generated interest around the world.

Would-be buyers jetted into Belfast from across Europe for the sale of English man Martin Fillery's remarkable haul of rare collectables today, while other bidders from the US and further afield registered online.

The treasure trove of memorabilia was built up over two decades, costing Fillery in excess of an estimated €1m.

One of the items that generated most interest ahead of the hammer going down at Wilsons Auctions in Mallusk was a car actually used in Back to the Future II.

The collection also included life-size Terminator and Iron Man statues, a Star Wars Stormtrooper, an Ewok, a Doctor Who Cyberman, ET, a Gremlin and a waxwork of Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka.

Auction of drug criminal's film and TV memorabilia in Belfast attracting worldwide attention

There was a replica Batboat from the 1960s incarnation of the Batman show and film, and a more futuristic Batbike inspired by the modern-day films.

A Starsky and Hutch style red and white Ford Torino, an Only Fools And Horses three-wheeled van, Postman Pat's van and even Roland Rat's pink car were also on the bidding list.

The "Aladdin's Cave" of nostalgia also included numerous 1980s pinball and arcade machines.

Fillery was one of three men jailed for turning an underground nuclear bunker designed for British army VIPs into what was one of the largest cannabis factories ever found in the south of England.

Some of the cannabis growing in the underground nuclear bunker in the south of England.
Some of the cannabis growing in the underground nuclear bunker in the south of England.

The 46-year-old movie fan, from Pedwell Hill, Ashcott, Bridgwater, Somerset, England, was jailed for eight years at Salisbury Crown Court in the UK in August for conspiracy to produce class B drugs, abstracting electricity and money laundering.

The court heard that the drug-growing operation at the disused RGHQ (Regional General Headquarters) Chilmark, Wiltshire, was capable of producing £2m (€2.24m) worth of cannabis each year.

Wilsons Auctions works with police forces across the UK in the disposal of ill-gotten gains.

Aidan Larkin, asset recovery manager at Wilsons, said the Wiltshire Police sale had sparked the public imagination.

"The interest has been truly global," he said.

Auction of drug criminal's film and TV memorabilia in Belfast attracting worldwide attention

Mr Larkin added: "We are regularly instructed to sell proceeds of crime assets.

"That's usually Rolexes, fast cars, houses in Spain but every now and again it's memorabilia. But this is certainly one we will remember for quite some time.

"We have an important job to do in that we have to realise as much as we can and get the money paid back over to the court.

"Everything we raise goes back into the public purse. So there's a bit of fun but there is also a serious job to be done."

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