Russian customs seizes hundreds of antique guns at port

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Russian customs officials on Tuesday confiscated a stash of 250 antique pistols, rifles and machine guns that had been smuggled from Germany into Saint Petersburg in northwestern Russia.

The weapons, valued at eight million rubles (189,000 euros, 261,000 dollars), included more than 180 pistols from renowned makes such as Beretta, Mauser and Colt, as well as machine guns and rifles, said customs spokesman Alexander Razzhivin.

The smuggled guns, some of which dated back to the 19th century, were discovered in a truck that had arrived on a ferry from Germany, and were falsely declared as "household merchandise", he said.

The seizure is the largest for several years, Razzhivin added. A criminal probe has been launched.

© 2010 AFP

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