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Yo ho ho! 1,400 cases of rum up for auction

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It’s yo ho ho and 1,400 cases of rum at a Customs auction that starts in the City of Hamilton today.

Seventy lots, containing 20 cases of Havana Club Anejo Especial and Reserva Rum each, will be auctioned off with many other items by Leonard Gibbons of Leonard Gibbons Real Estate Ltd.

“It is absolutely unusual to have so much rum for sale,” said Mr Gibbons. “I have had the odd case of liquor to auction but not 1,400 cases. It could be a bonus for local restaurants. A liquor merchant might want to buy. I doubt that it will all be bought by one person, but you never know.”

The duty on a case of rum is about $100, so the importer would have been expected to pay a tariff of $140,000. For whatever reason, the importer did not pick up his rum.

“I think it was ordered by a company that might have gone out of business,” said Mr Gibbons. “It might have been sitting there for years. There is no duty charged for the person who buys it at auction. The duty is done at this point. We will find out on Friday how much people think it is worth.”

He said other than the rum, the auction is pretty typical. It includes household items and clothing such as ladies underwear which Mr Gibbons assured us was unused.

There are also medical supplies such as catheters, computer parts, car parts, furniture and lots of construction equipment.

“It is a pretty mixed bag,” said Mr Gibbons. “It is usually from people who brought something in and then discovered they couldn’t afford to pay the duty.”

A total of 374 lots of various items will be auctioned off. Mr Gibbons said the auction was not unusual in size.

“This is a pretty typical customs auction,” he said. “The last one was in 2008 when we had 477 items so there are slightly less this time but in 2001 there were 245 items so this time there are slightly more. We will be auctioning everything on the list.”

An hour-long auction preview starts at 11am today in Number Six Shed on Front Street. The auction follows from noon until 2pm, and 3pm to 4pm. The auction will continue on Friday from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm. For more information telephone 292-4905.

Havana Club rum - dozens of cases are to be auctioned off.
The scene this morning as an auction house staff member unpacks some of the seized goods to be auctioned.

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Published November 17, 2011 at 9:00 am (Updated November 17, 2011 at 9:05 am)

Yo ho ho! 1,400 cases of rum up for auction

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