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Police to auction seized helicopter

In the market for a police-seized helicopter — or parts of one, anyway?

In the market for a police-seized helicopter — or parts of one, anyway?

The province is auctioning off parts of a stripped-down chopper that was seized in the Kootenays after authorities determined it was being used for cross-border drug smuggling.

The Bell 206-B Jet Ranger was taken from a rural property near Nelson in late January, said RCMP Sgt. Dennis Blanch.

In an attempt to find the owner, authorities notified the public the chopper had been confiscated, but no one came forward.

“It was used contrary to Transport Canada guidelines,” Blanch said. “(There would be) significant penalties under the guidelines that anybody coming forward would have to answer to.”

When no one came forward to claim the helicopter – which was in bad condition – authorities decided to sell it for parts.

“For reasons of public safety, the main portions are going to be discarded.

Another smaller portion will be put up for parts for sale. The helicopter itself will never go airborne again,” he said.

Proceeds from the sale of parts will go to the province, and portions of that money will go to crime prevention initiatives.