Precious Metals

What happened to gold bars found in tank

Disposition of 60 pounds of gold bars found in the fuel tank of a military tank that a British military hardware collector purchased on eBay is “still in limbo,” according to the collector.

Nick Mead from Tanks-a-lot Ltd. at Spring Farm, Helmdon, Northhamptonshire, in the United Kingdom, said no determination has been made concerning the five gold bars, which are believed to have been possibly looted by Iraqi soldiers during the invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. The bars were discovered in the spring of 2017 after the tank Mead purchased on eBay was being refurbished. The bars were found during a cleaning of the tank's fuel tank.

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Mead said there has been some outside interest shown in making a movie about the experience of the gold discovery.

Mead’s Tanks-a-Lot Ltd. buys and sells military hardware and offers tank-driving experiences.

The gold bars, valued at the time of discovery at $1.2 million in U.S. dollars, were turned over to local authorities while their disposition is being determined.

Mead purchased the tank on eBay for £33,000 (approximately $41,339 in U.S. dollars.)

The eBay seller, Joe Hewes, 23, never discovered the gold during his restoration of the tank, an ex-Iraqi Army Type 69 that was a Chinese copy of the Soviet T-55 medium tank. The tanks were sold in large numbers to the Iraqi Army during the 1980s.

Six months after the end of the war, Iraqi authorities returned 3,216 gold bars to Kuwait under United Nations supervision.

The original Coin World story and video documenting the removal of the gold bars from the tank can be found here.

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