84-year-old man fined $293,000 for possessing a German World War II tank

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Heikendorf, Germany

An 84-year-old man from Germany has been convicted of illegal weapons possession and has been fined €250,000 ($293,972) along with a suspended prison sentence of 14 months.

An investigation into the man’s home in Heikendorf, Northern Germany, in 2015 revealed a World War II-era Panther tank, as well as a plethora of ammunition.

The military collector had broken Germany’s War Weapons Control Act, according to prosecutors. Defence lawyers argued that the weapons were no longer functional, therefore not in breach of this legislation, according to an RT-DE report.

However, the prosecutors convinced the court that the weapons could still be used. The court ruling, ordered on 2 August, stated that the man must sell or donate the tank and anti-aircraft cannon to a museum or collector within the next two years, the BBC report.

The armaments were discovered in the retiree’s basement in 2015 after local authorities were informed of its war-time contents after the property was searched for Nazi-era art, according to the BBC.

It took 20 soldiers nine hours to remove the trove of military hardware from the unnamed man’s home.

There was also a horde of Nazi memorabilia, including a bust of Hitler, mannequins in Nazi uniforms, swastika pendants, SS rune-shaped lamps, and a statue of a naked warrior holding a sword in his extended hand that once stood outside Hitler’s Chancellery in Berlin, by the dictator’s favourite sculptor, Arno Breker, reported War History Online.—AP

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