Man tries to sell live World War II era bomb on eBay for Dh73

Web report/London
Filed on May 23, 2021
Weapons like the one found by Mark Williams were used during World War II by the Nazis. Photo: AP

Police evacuated the man’s neighbours from their homes.

A UK man attempted to sell a live World War II-era bomb on eBay, prompting police to evacuate residents from the surrounding area on Tuesday.

According to the New York Post, Mark Williams, a resident of the town of Swaythling, had dug up the 80-year-old explosive — the kind the Nazis used throughout WWII — after it registered on his metal detector.


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He then took the foot-long weapon to his house and listed it on the online auction site for $20 (Dh73), describing it as a “WWII German incendiary bomb – genuine, authentic Southampton Blitz”. He had reportedly shown off his discovery to his neighbours as well.

Ralf Sherwin, a security consultant and war memorabilia collector, said that he had messaged Williams as soon as he saw the listing and warned him that the bomb was, in fact, live.

Sherwin explained that he could tell because "you could see the iron oxide seeping out of the air holes”.

“In the nose, there’s a detonator, and once that dries out, it will go off, and I told him he wouldn’t be able to put it out,” the weapons expert said.

When his warning fell on deaf ears, Sherwin proceeded to notify authorities.

“We were made aware of the bomb after it was reported as being advertised for sale on eBay,” said a spokesman for the Hampshire police.

Williams’ house was quickly raided and surrounding residents evacuated, while a bomb squad confiscated the explosive, so it could be detonated in a safe and controlled manner.

An eBay spokesperson said they "worked closely" with Hampshire Police to quickly identify and locate the seller. The company reminded the public that “dangerous weapons such as unexploded bombs are not allowed to be listed on eBay”.

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