BY KIERAN O’MAHONY
IF you fancy becoming the owner of the infamous Makayabella yacht, then you might just have the chance, as it’s going to be auctioned in Cork on July 30th.
Currently in storage at Hawboline, the yacht made the headlines last September when navy officers aboard the LÉ Niamh along with customs and gardaí seized the yacht about 200km off the south-west coast of Cork, near Mizen Head. Up to 41 bales of cocaine with an estimated street value of €350m were found on board and was one of the biggest drug seizures in the history of the state.
Three men who were arrested on the yacht were jailed earlier this year for their part in the drug smuggling operation. Skipper Jonathan Powell (71) received a ten-year jail term and his crew members Benjamin Mellor (34) and Thomas Britteon (28) were each jailed for eight years. Cork auctioneer, Dominic J Daly has been asked by the State to auction the yacht and he has already received interest from several bidders.
‘I was contacted by the Gardaí recently to oversee the sale of the yacht as I have previously auctioned a number of boats and yachts for both CAB and the Revenue Commissioners and I also have an interest in marine and this is of course totally different to ordinary house sales,’ said Dominic J Daly, speaking to The Southern Star.
‘I’m selling it for the State at an auction in the Carrigaline Court Hotel on July 30th and I have been emailing a few people about it. Some have already come down to look at it in Hawboline where it has been locked up for the past eight months.’
The purpose-built 19ft charter yacht is understood to have been built between 1984 and 1986 and it has been refitted a number of times.
‘It’s a very spacious yacht and could accommodate up to 10 or 12 people comfortably. It does needs some work on her, as obviously the sails were damaged back in September but it has a good hull, which was made of aluminum and the only thing is that there is no warranty with it.’
It’s not the first time that Dominic has auctioned boats on behalf of the State. He was in charge of the sale of LÉ Emer which was brought by a Nigerian company director in 2013 for €320,000.
• The vessel will be offered for sale by public auction at 12 noon on Thursday, July 30th, in the Carragaline Court Hotel. If you’d like to arrange a viewing of this vessel, please feel free to call Dominic anytime on his mobile on 087-2550486.