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Latin Post January 28, 2015

Brazilian Police Discover Two Tanks in São Paulo Raid

By Rodrigo Ugarte

Brazilian police in the city of São Paulo made an unexpected discovery when they stumbled upon two old military tanks inside a warehouse. The armored vehicles were stashed away along with stolen items and the police are currently investigating how they ended up there.

On Monday the military police of Sao Paulo state stumbled upon the two engineless tanks inside a warehouse in the Sacoma, a low-income neighborhood in São Paulo, according to the Guardian.

In a statement posted on their Facebook page, the police recount how an inquiry into the theft of car led them to the very unusual discovery. Police discovered a warehouse that contained various stolen products, the statement said.

"The warehouse is located in Vila Carioca, near Tamanduateí train station, and inside it [police] found a truck with a container, loaded with approximately 500 42-inch LED televisions," the police statement said. "Beyond that container, they found a semi-trailer truck, various automotive parts and two armored tanks of the armed forces, without any identification. [Police] located the owner of the warehouse; he said he rents it for an individual and was unaware of its use."

The police have seized all the stolen goods and the tanks, pending further investigation.

According to the Associated Press, the police said Engesa, the Brazilian armored vehicle manufacturer, had auctioned off the two tanks "without weapons or engines because they no longer had any use," the police said in a statement on Tuesday. They were currently investigating who placed the winning bid.

"It is unusual, to say the least, that police officers searching for stolen goods and cars, instead find two tanks," Police Lt. Andrei do Carmo told the Globo TV network the night of the discovery.

The owner of the warehouse, according to a police source who spoke with the AP, said his sons bought the tanks at auction legally in 2003 and have the paperwork to prove it. It is uncertain if this is the same person referred to in the police's statement on Facebook.

Though the tanks are officially unidentified, the Scotsman posits they could be American-made M-41 Walker Bulldog light tanks.

This is certainly possible as Brazil purchased roughly 300 of the Korean War-era tanks, according to GlobalSecurity.org.


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