Although in many countries it is legal for private citizens to own tanks, buying a 36-tonne tank sounds like an odd idea. Given the fact that tanks are designed for front-line combat, it is hard to imagine why a private citizen would buy one.
However, this is not the case with Nick Mead from Helmdon, Northamptonshire, England, who apparently knew what he was doing when he bought a tank on eBay for £30,000 trade-in and discovered £2 million ($2,474,600) worth of gold hidden away in the fuel tank.
A tank restorer buys a 30k Iraqi tank and finds 2million in gold hidden inside it. pic.twitter.com/ufrJtVIQ2f
— Guys Stuff (@guystufff) April 13, 2017
According to the Sun, Nick Mead, 55, who owns a collection of 150 military vehicles and his friend, the mechanic Todd Chamberlain, 50, discovered the five gold bars that weigh up to 12lb (5kg) each, while restoring the tank.
Nick traded a tank and self-propelled gun for a Chinese medium, Type-69 tank (development of Type 59, based on the Soviet T-54A). This tank is one of the first main battle tanks entirely built in China.
In the 1950’s, many T-54’s were given to China as part of the treaty of friendship between them and the USSR, so the Chinese copied most of T-54A’s features and built the first Type 69 prototypes in 1964. Starting in the 1980s, they sold a high number of Type 59 and Type 69 tanks to Iraq which were later used in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
Nick and his friend found machine gun ammunition while stripping down the tank and were afraid that they might find guns inside the fuel tank, so they decided to film themselves while opening up the diesel, in case they needed to show it to bomb disposal experts.
Breaking news! #Northamptonshire businessman finds £2 million worth of gold bars in military tank: https://t.co/ffo9eEBntI pic.twitter.com/r1RAQe75eU
— All Things Business (@allthingsbus) April 11, 2017
They couldn’t believe their eyes when instead of guns they found the five solid gold bars and quickly calculated that the bars were worth £2 million ($2,474,600).
We didn’t know what to do. You can’t exactly take five gold bullion bars down to Cash Converters without questions being asked, so we called the police, Nick told the Sun.
The pair believed that Iraqi soldiers stole the gold in the invasion of Kuwait.
They must have cut a hole in the fuel tank and rammed it full of gold bars, he added.
Nick Mead is a military enthusiast, and he is the owner of Tanks A Lot Ltd driving events company. Many of his military vehicles are used for weddings, funerals, films and parties.
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Police took the gold bars away, but Nick doesn’t seem to be worried that he might lose the £2 million ($2,474,600) worth of gold that he found in the tank.
Even if I don’t get any of the gold back, I will still have my beautiful tank; Nick told the Sun.