Tallinn resident sentenced to 7 years for collecting explosives at home

The defendant's apartment building in Õismäe as it was evacuated and searched. September 2019.
The defendant's apartment building in Õismäe as it was evacuated and searched. September 2019. Source: Tauno Peit/ERR

Harju County Court on Friday sentenced a resident of Tallinn's Õismäe District to seven years and six months in prison for collecting a large amount of explosives at his apartment.

The court is settling the criminal case under compromise procedure, according to which the defendant, 46-year-old Urmas Piht, was sentenced to seven years and six months in prison.

The Northern District Prosecutor's Office accused Piht of illegally possessing, storing and processing explosives. According to the charges, he took approximately four kilograms of explosives to his residence on Õismäe Street at an unspecified time, where he was involved in the extraction of explosives from the ammunition and explosive ordnance found.

Prosecutors also accused Piht of illegally acquiring and possessing large quantities of ammunition as well as illegally handling firearms and ammunition prohibited for civilian use — namely, cartridges and barrels for firearms fit for use were found in his home.

According to information collected in the framework of the criminal investigation, Pihl found at least some of the explosives and firearms cartridges in various places in Harju County, including Männiku Forest and the Männiku training area.

According to District Prosecutor Eneli Laurits, Piht claimed that he is interested in history and noted that finding and collecting old explosives was a hobby.

"Unfortunately, this activity is illegal, and the Penal Code provides for such a severe penalty for handling explosives because it is extremely dangerous," Laurits explained. "The fact that the accused possessed and handled explosives in an apartment building potentially endangered all the occupants of the building. During the search of the man's apartment, the entire building was evacuated and some of the explosives were immediately destroyed, which illustrates how dangerous the experts considered what happened in the man's place of residence to be."

Piht's Õismäe apartment was searched by the Internal Security Service on September 10, 2019, prior to which all residents were evacuated from one stairwell, or 36 apartments, of the nine-story apartment building. Proceedings, which continued overnight, were concluded by the authorities the next morning. Piht was arrested and taken into custody at the request of the Prosecutor's Office and with the permission of the court.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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