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Explosive discovery Gun-hoarding Swiss man fined for giant stash

Police were at the home near Interlaken for days after the initial find

(Keystone/Lukas Lehmann)

A Swiss man who hoarded thousands of guns and boxes of ammunition in his home has been fined. The extensive stash was uncovered by police in October 2014.

When the 69-year-old man failed to keep appointments with the authorities to carry out checks on his weapons and did not produce documents they had requested, police raided his home in Unterseen, in the Bernese Oberland. They found it was packed to the rafters with guns.

After the perimeter of the building was sealed off police officers spent days securing the various weapons they had uncovered, taking them out of the house and filing them into crates and boxes under the cover of white tents. It was a case that shocked a country which is proud of its ability to generally keep guns safely and securely within the law.

In total 2,400 weapons and 53 boxes of ammunition were discovered; 400 kilograms of explosives were found later. The man runs a business which has a permit to sell guns.

At the time he claimed he was a victim of the authorities, and in an interview with local television station, Telebärn, said: “I keep everything locked away in the house, they [the guns] are not walking out of there on their own. And I’m not taking them out of the house in any case”. He lodged an official complaint with the courts over the search of his property, but this was recently rejected.

The public prosecutor in the Bernese Oberland concluded on Thursday that the man had violated the law on the storage of weapons and in a number of cases had not possessed the required permits. He has been given a conditional fine of CHF6,300 ($6,422), with a probation period of four years and a one-off fine of CHF1,400. 

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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