Spread over four huge tables at the Hannover State Office of Criminal Investigations were 142 pistols, 29 automatic pistols, 28 revolvers, 11 hand grenades, two machine guns, two land mines, an Uzi, a Skorpion submachine gun, a Kalashnikov, a bazooka and 17,600 bullets.
They belonged to 70-year-old Uwe G., who has been on trial in Hannover state court since October, for breaching Germany’s war weapons control act, Bild newspaper said on Tuesday.
When it came to present the evidence on Monday, the court found there was so much weaponry they had to move investigations to a separate, specially prepared room.
Officers stumbled across the personal collection in October 2012 when neighbours rang police concerned about water damage at the 70-year-old's house. Uwe G. was not in, but officers could not believe what lay inside.
Alongside the weapons was €290,000 in cash, and a stash of expensive jewellery, watches and coins totalling around €1 million.Police quickly discovered he was no stranger to the penal system, as a member a burglary gang in the 1980s and had already served nine years in prison and over his entire life has spent 20 years behind bars in total.
Being in possession of military weapons is illegal in Germany, yet in 2012 the State Office for Criminal Investigations registered 33,245 breaches of this law and investigated 31,837 suspects.