Nick Mead and Todd Chamberlain got more than they bargained for when they bought a tank on eBay. Nick, who runs Tanks-a-lot in Helmdon, Northants, bought the tank for a bargain at £30,000 [$38,000].
Nick was filming Todd as he fished around inside the tank. Both men were expecting Todd to pull out weapons of some sort, so imagine their surprise when he pulled out bars of gold instead! Bar after bar were pulled out, with excited Nick filming the whole thing.
“Well, it’s not guns that’s for sure,” Todd said.
“Is that what I think it is? How heavy is it? Seriously?! Is that gold? Oh god, that’s about five or six kilos. Wow, good here init [sic],” Nick exclaimed.
“See how many there are, find the rest! Yeehaah! What are we going to do with them? “
“Oh my God. I don’t believe it, what do you reckon they’re worth? Where did they come from? It could be Kuwaiti or Iraqi.”
“How many more are there? This is better than having puppies! Incredible.”
Of course, after all the excitement had died down, the question arose as to what they should do with all the bullion. They speculated on spending it on cars are other things, but they knew that they would not be allowed to keep it. Something about taking it down to ‘Cash Convertors’ one bar at a time, might just set alarm bells ringing!
“It’s not something I’d thought I’d be doing, finding b***** great bars of gold hidden in a tank. Absolutely incredible.”
“But, we’ve got to ring the police. I don’t know whether this is millions or hundred of thousands worth. But one thing is for certain, I don’t want it lying around my office.”
“We’ll get a receipt and hopefully, just hopefully, we’ll get to keep it. What’s the chance of us keeping it?”
Off camera, some one replies: “Absolutely zero.”
“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,” shared Todd.
So after taking more pictures and the video of their find, they did the honourable thing and called the police. As Nick explained, the bullion was worth millions and he really did not want it lying around his office.
It seems that the tank had in fact been already restored by the previous owner, but he had not even seen the gold stashed away inside. He had only replaced the tracks and the engine, not even looked inside. Nick, who has a collection of some 150 military vehicles, said that he had traded an army lorry and an Abbot self-propelled gun for the tank.
“It’s crazy and a great find so I hope they get to keep it,” said Joe Hewes who sold the tank to Nick.
“Everyone is thinking I should be devastated to have missed out on what could be a fortune but I’m not too upset because I made a fair bit of money on the tank anyway.”
“I haven’t been in touch with Nick but if he does get to keep some of the some of the money, I expect a pint!”
Judging by the weight of the bullion , they reckoned it was worth about £2 million ($2.5 million), although Nick doubted that they would even get a finders fee for handing it in.
“We know it is definitely an Iraqi tank and our theory is the gold is from Kuwait but we don’t know,” Nick said.
“When we found it, we were all laughing and joking and deciding what we were going to spend the money on.”
“My sister wanted a Land Rover and I would buy a Rolls Royce Phantom and chop the back off to make a pick-up truck.”
The history of the tank is unclear, it is a Chinese copy of the Russian T54 design, built in the 1980’s, and had just 1507 miles on it. It may have been that the gold was stolen by Iraqi soldiers during the raid on Kuwait in 1990, but that remains to be proven.
“I saw it advertised and I had this idea of doing a ‘From Russia With Love’ experience where people would come and drive three Russian tanks,” Nick said.
“I always keep an eye on military vehicles on EBay, I check it once every three days. I often sell tanks on EBay and I buy from there too.”
“It is unusual to get one of these now, they range from around £10k [$12, 800] to £60k [$76, 700]. I did well buying it for £30k. [$38,000]”
After posting their find on a social media platform, Nick says they had some interesting comments, and even one reply from a person who said that he was a colonel in the British Army, and the tank belonged to him.
“It’s all very much up in the air at the moment,” Mr Mead said. “It’s very early days and I’m not sure what will happen yet.”
The police, after issuing a full receipt for it, now have the gold in a safe place. When asked about it, the Northants police said that due to ‘operational reasons’ they were unable to comment on the bullion.
“The chances of us keeping it are very slim,” Nick said.
“I’ve had quite a few strange phone calls.”
“I got a call from one person claiming to be a colonel in the British Army saying it was his.”
“It’s really good fun to have found it. It certainly is interesting.”
Source: Daily Mail