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Brazil police find $3 million Nazi haul at home of child abuse suspect

The suspect was also charged with illegal possession of a weapon and racial discrimination.
South America, primarily neighboring Argentina, became a haven for Nazi war criminals fleeing Europe in the wake of World War Two. AFP - Getty Images

RIO DE JANEIRO — Police in Rio de Janeiro said Wednesday they had found a haul of Nazi memorabilia and weapons worth an estimated $3.5 million at the home of a Brazilian man suspected of raping a minor.

Rio’s civil police said they found more than 1,000 items at the home of the 58-year-old unnamed suspect, including Nazi uniforms, periodicals, paintings, Nazi insignia, images of Adolf Hitler, flags and medals of the Third Reich.

They also found guns and ammunition from the era.

Official figures estimate the number of Jews in Brazil at about 120,000, corresponding to 0.06 percent of the population.AFP - Getty Images

The haul was discovered after police went to the man’s home to serve an arrest warrant on suspicions he had raped a minor and abused other children in his condominium in the west of the city. The suspect was also charged with illegal possession of a weapon and racial discrimination.

“He is a smart guy and articulate, but he’s a Holocaust denier, he’s homophobic, he’s a pedophile and he says he hunts homosexuals,” Luis Armond, the lead detective on the case, told Reuters. “I’m no doctor, but he seems to me an insane psychopath.”

Armond said the suspect came from a wealthy family of investors and likely had used his inheritance to build the collection. Armond estimated a high-ranking Nazi uniform would cost around $290,000.

Police are probing the suspect’s connection to Nazi and other far-right groups and trying to ascertain if he was active in the marketplace for such objects.

Armond said a museum would need to be found for the collection.

“This is something that is totally unusual and shocking,” he said.