Police arrest Russian who traded vodka for explosives

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A Russian was arrested for possession of an arsenal of explosives in northwestern Russia which he said he traded for a bottle of vodka, regional police said Monday.

Police found "132 bullets, almost 500 grammes of gunpowder, and 1.32 kilogrammes of TNT" while searching a suspect's apartment in Baltiysk, a town in Russia's western exclave of Kaliningrad, police said in a statement.

The detainee said that he "acquired the weapons several years ago having exchanged them for a bottle of vodka" after gaining an interest in collecting weapons during his army service, the statement said.

Police also found 587 grammes of explosive solid rocket fuel in a different apartment while on the same raid.

Authorities often seize military weapons in Russia, where both police and the army are regularly mired in corruption scandals. Weapons trafficking became especially widespread after the fall of the Soviet Union and the accompanying economic crisis in the country.

© 2010 AFP

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