Online buy leads German customs to arms cache

December 23, 2015, 4:49am

dpa on News24
photo: istock

Karlsruhe - Tracing the purchase of illegal laser sights led German customs officers to a large cache of weapons and explosives, prosecutors in the western city of Karlsruhe said on Tuesday.

When the customs officers descended on the house of a 48-year-old man near the city they found several illegal weapons, a machine pistol, 3 000 rounds of ammunition, 150kg of explosive and five kilometres of detonating cord.

The suspect had twice ordered banned laser sights from abroad, prosecutors said. This had set customs investigation officers on his trail at the beginning of December.

The munitions in the house, where two children live as well, were freely accessible, the investigators said. They expressed particular concern about 150kg of pyrotechnics of the most dangerous category.

The explosives were to some extent stacked on top of each other and had become chemically unstable. "It could have exploded at any time. The whole house would have gone up," an investigator said.

The suspect had applied for a firearms licence, but it had not yet been issued.