Defence Minister Peter MacKay.

Oops, we want our missile radar back: Department of National Defence

Surrey buyer purchases sophisticated $29,000 missile detection mechanism for $37 at an auction.

Someone walked into a government auction in Surrey four years ago, placed a winning bid of $37 for a piece of radar equipment, took the device and left.

However, according to news reports last Friday, the government never meant to sell the highly sophisticated missile defence mechanism, which was actually worth $29,000.

So the Department of National Defence wanted it back.

The information is being reported by Montreal newspaper La Presse. The news outlet received details through a Freedom of Information request, outlining federal Defence Minister Peter McKay’s reaction to the sale of “controlled” equipment to a civilian in Surrey.

The purchaser’s identity has not been revealed, nor is it known what punishment, if any, he or she faces.

LaPresse is reporting ministry officials found out three years after the auction that the civilian bought the highly prized device and offered to reimburse the the $37 the person paid in exchange for the return of the device.

The buyer refused, so the government upped the ante to $2,000.

When the buyer refused that offer, the government issued a 48-hour order to return the mechanism.

When the purchaser failed to comply, the RCMP was called and the piece of equipment was retrieved, LaPresse reported.

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