This Military Vehicle Collector Found A $2.5 Million Surprise In His Russian-Style Tank

news

British tactical vehicle collector Nick Mead bought a T54/69, the Chinese-made tank patterned after a Russian T-55, for £30,000 (roughly $37,000) on eBay. But when he began restoring it, he discovered that he’d purchased more than just an armored fighting machine.


When he opened one of the T54/69’s diesel fuel tanks, Mead and his mechanic Todd Chamberlain discovered five 12-pound gold bars reportedly valued at about £2 million, according to The International Business Times. In U.S. dollars, that’s roughly $2.5 million. However, the Times also suggests that based on the current market value of gold, their worth is closer to $1.24 million.

Mead stumbled upon the cache after discovering machine gun ammo while stripping the machine and growing concerned that additional rounds might remain inside the fuel tank, reported The Sun.

The two men believe the bars were hidden by Iraqi looters in Kuwait during the Gulf War. The T54/69 was a Chinese copy of the Soviet T-55 medium tank and sold in large quantity to the Iraqi Army during the 1980s.

“They must have cut a hole in the fuel tank and rammed it full of gold bars,” Mead said.

He runs a company called Tanks-A-Lot, which rents out military and other tactical vehicles for use in TV, movies, and private events, according to Popular Mechanics. But we’re sure the T54/69 will add quite a bit of value to his collection.

Screenshot via YouTube
(U.S. Army)

A soldier who died in Camp Buehring, Kuwait, from a non-combat related incident on July 18 was identified by the Pentagon as Sgt. William Friese, a West Virginia Army National Guard soldier assigned to the 821st Engineer Company, 1092nd Engineer Battalion, 111th Engineer Brigade.

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Aspen Reid)

Navy Airman Uriel Gerardo-Olivas wanted to hire a hitman to murder another sailor he says had threatened his life and the lives of his girlfriend and baby.

But, he had a problem.

He didn't have the money.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Matt Herbst.

Search and rescue efforts have ended without locating a sailor from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, who was reported overboard on Wednesday, Navy officials have announced.

Read More Show Less
ISIS

An American citizen who allegedly served as a sniper for ISIS and became a leader for the terrorist group is expected to appear in federal court on Friday after being returned to the United States by the Defense Department, officials said.

Ruslan Maratovich Asainov, who was born in Kazakhstan and became a naturalized U.S. citizen, is charged with providing and attempting to provide material support to ISIS, the Justice Department announced on Friday.

Read More Show Less
Members of the Iranian revolutionary guard march during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), in Tehran September 22, 2011. (Reuters photo)

LONDON/DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran's Revolutionary Guards said on Friday they had captured a British-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf after Britain seized an Iranian vessel earlier this month, further raising tensions along a vital international oil shipping route.

Britain said it was urgently seeking information about the Stena Impero after the tanker, which had been heading to a port in Saudi Arabia, suddenly changed course after passing through the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf.

Read More Show Less