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Gun fanatic in Kobe arrested for possession of 16 firearms

The guns that were seized from the man's home are shown here at the Metropolitan Police Department in Tokyo on Jan. 18, 2017. (Mainichi)

A gun fanatic who hoarded 16 deadly firearms at his home in Kobe has been arrested, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) stated on Jan. 18.

    The man -- 57-year-old Yasuyuki Kanazawa from Kobe's Nishi Ward -- had his firearm collection confiscated by police in what has been described as the biggest seizure of real guns in Japan in the past five years. No live bullets were found during the raid -- which has led police to speculate that Kanazawa enjoys collecting firearms, as opposed to using them.

    The suspect was arrested on suspicion of violating the firearms and swords control law, specifically for allegedly being in possession of 16 firearms at his home in August last year, as well as two fake guns capable of shooting live ammunition. Kanazawa acknowledges possession of the firearms -- stating that he first bought guns over 15 years ago from antique stores.

    According to an organized crime unit at the MPD, Kanazawa's online purchase of a pencil-style gun from a man in Osaka for about 2,000 yen was detected by an investigator in February 2016, which subsequently prompted a police investigation.

    In addition to the firearms, eight model guns were also found by police at Kanazawa's home.

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