Story By: Gheorghi Caraseni, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
A Ukrainian priest has been arrested on suspicion of looting grenades and TNT from a war zone he had travelled to as a missionary so that he could sell them.
The priest was reportedly arrested when he was driving a car full of weapons in the Rivne Oblast in north-western Ukraine some months ago but the information has only just been released now.
The country’s Security Service report the priest, who has not been named, was stopped by local police who discovered the arsenal of weapons which he had allegedly taken from the Donbas region where armed conflict has raged for the last five years.
The officials reported: “According to the preliminary version of the investigation, a priest previously convicted of arms trafficking tried to establish a mechanism for the illegal sale of military weapons.
“It was established that between 2015 and 2018 he repeatedly travelled to the ATO (Anti-Terrorist Zone) Donbas conflict zone on preaching missions.”
The authorities say that the priest kept the weapons in residential and industrial buildings in the city of Rivne before selling them to his friends.
Officials reportedly managed to document several cases of the priest attempting to sell the weapons, among which were seven grenades with fuses and 800 grams (1.76 lbs) of TNT which he was asking 40,000 UAH (1,245 GBP) for.
According to Elena Gitlyanskaya, the official spokesperson of the Ukrainian Security service: “This priest was arrested near Rivne city several months ago but the case was not revealed because of the bureaucracy related to the weapons he used to sell.”
Reports state the priest remains under arrest and faces seven years in prison if found guilty.
The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch is ultimately used to kill the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog in Monty Python’s 1975 Holy Grail film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
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