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Russian held selling World War II tank

Russian held selling World War II tankMoscow, Jan 15 : A rare World War II-era tank was spared from disappearing into a private collection in Russia's Rostov region.

Ivan Boichenko, a former deputy district head, was talked into selling the tank by an unnamed businessman with a hobby of collecting military equipment, a court spokesperson said.

The entrepreneur had his eyes on a T-44 tank on display in the town of Belaya Kalitva.

Only about 1,800 machines of this model were produced between 1944 and 1947, which makes them a sought-after collectible, the spokesperson added.

Boichenko valued the tank at 7 million rubles ($230,000) and proposed to exchange it for a cheaper T-34 and 4.5 million rubles in cash that he intended to pocket.

But the businessman tipped off police who nabbed him during the money transfer. The latter pleaded guilty to fraud and abuse of authority, which allowed him to avoid jail. (IANS)