Stealing a Tiger engine........... And a Statement from the Wheatcroft Collection.

Discussion in 'General' started by m kenny, Jul 26, 2010.

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  1. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    Armortek :: View topic - News headlines

    "It came to the "collectors" attention and I was asked to do the same for his own early Demag Ausf A now undergoing restoration"

    As far as I am aware there is only 1 Panther A under restoration in the UK.
    Anyone know of others?
     
  2. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I'm only aware of one 'A' definitely under restoration too, though there are maybe three more in Private hands, I was under the impression they were a bit far gone.
    Seem to recall another ausf was being worked on too.

    One finds oneself somewhat hesitant to comment or speculate... No doubt time will tell if there's any substance to this, mistakes do happen - and none of the chaps I can think of exactly need to half inch things.
    (Are we talking bits of a KT engine here? I couldn't work that out, but...)
     
  3. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter 1940 Obsessive

    I think that we should indeed be cautious here. The fact that there are already prosecutions in Sweden and there has been no mention of charges in the UK could well indicate that if there is indeed criminal intent, it was not in the UK.

    Posts on HMVF have confused me as to whether there was talk of a loan or of a sale and that goods returned were not what was originally supplied but then the witnesses have been charged in Sweden so quite possibly "They would say that, wouldn't they ?"

    If hypothetical items loaned from a hypothetical static display were returned without the working internals then I think that may not be the first time in the history of vehicle restoration, whether officially or unofficially.
     
  4. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    I am told it is mentioned in the current issue of 'Classic Military Vehicle'.
    Anyone read it?
     
  5. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Had a shufti at the CMV article today.
    No names, but mention of filed off serial numbers being restamped with the other engine's, and external bits being set to look as if internals were still present.
     
  6. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Adam,

    If that is correct restamping serial numbers is really premeditated and a certain intention of theft.

    Grim reading.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  7. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    On a related subject:

    The Great Tiger Heist
    July 28 2010 at 4:39 PM Joseph R. Zrodlowski (Select Login SfanGoch)
    Missing-Lynx members
    from IP address 72.229.114.25


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In case some of you might have been wondering about the status of the APG Tiger I, the latest news isn't very good. I've been making phone calls to different agencies, here in the U.S., and, I have been informed of the following:

    I have it from officials who are knowledgeable of the situation at the Center for Military History, the Judge Advocate General's Office and The Ordinance Museum, APG, that there is ongoing litigation regarding the return of the APG Tiger to the U.S., from one Kevin Wheatcroft.

    One of the main points of contention in this matter is proof of ownership. It seems that when Wheatcroft worked out an agreement with the CMH to perform restoration work on the vehicle, in exchange for being allowed to study it, with the intention of manufacturing accurate replicas, he did so without ever intending to return the tank to the U.S. government. How can I substantiate this assertion? In order to ship the tank from Germany, Wheatcroft needed to secure an import permit from the British (U.K.) government. He deviously circumvented that by having the Tiger shipped, free of charge, along with the equipment of a Britsh Army unit which was rotating back to the U.K. Since the Tiger, and the unit's equipment, would be unloaded at a military facility, no such license would be required. Wheatcroft arranged this with an officer of the B.A.O.R., prior to the unit's transfer back to the U.K. He also arranged to meet the ship at port with a transporter to retrieve the Tiger, once it was off-loaded. In a nutshell, he smuggled the tank into the country.

    When the U.S. government requested the return of the Tiger, Wheatcroft demanded compensation for shipping it back to the States. He was vague and evasive when asked about the dollar amount. "In essence," quoting a U.S. official, "he's holding the tank hostage." JAG approached the U.K. authorities to rectify the situation. The U.K. requested to see the import permit for the Tiger to ascertain ownership. None could be provided; because, none was ever applied for by Wheatcroft. Wheatcroft is hoping that the U.S.will lose interest and will forego further claims to the Tiger, leaving him in full possession. Fortunately, the U.S. government is doing neither.

    I urge all who would like to see this rare and historic artifact returned to its rightful owners, the people of the United States of America, to contact your respective representatives in the U.S. and U.K., and urge them to bring this matter to its rightful conclusion.
    http://www.network54.com/Forum/47211/message/1280349561/The+Great+Tiger+Heist

    Edit: I'm closing this thread for the mo - until more concrete stuff appears, or doesn't. ~A
     
  8. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Evening chaps,
    I've been contacted by the Wheatcroft collection asking if I'll share this statement from them relating to the various web mentions of this business.

    Personally, I'm more than happy to post it up, and draw a line under WW2T's passing reference.
    This thread remains closed, and I'd say if anyone really wishes to discuss it further - take up the offer of email correspondence enclosed. WW2Talk is not the place.

    (I've amended the title of this thread to include; 'And a Statement from the Wheatcroft Collection.')

    Cheers,
    ~A

    Document attached below as a pdf, and I thought I'd quote it all too:

    View attachment DOC - Statement of Kevin Wheatcroft - FINAL v2 21.04.11(4335584_1).PDF

    Statement of Kevin Wheatcroft – April 2011

    INTRODUCTION
    Kevin Wheatcroft has instructed us, his lawyers, to prepare this statement in
    answer to a number of wildly inaccurate and defamatory statements which have appeared on various sites in the last 12-24 months. Kevin Wheatcroft has so far refrained from making any comments in reply to the many unfounded allegations.
    However, as the posting of persistently inaccurate information and allegations
    continues particularly after publication of documents relating to a trial in Sweden he has given us instructions to prepare this statement.
    Also he will establish an internet mail address for a period of seven days from
    today’s date. He will reply to any reasonable questions arising from this statement or the facts giving rise to it.
    The allegations relate to the circumstances in which a Tiger Tank came into his possession and also relate to the circumstances in which an engine and gear box formerly in a museum in Sweden came into his possession.
    This statement is intended, first, to set the record straight so that all concerned may know the true circumstances leading to the items coming into his possession.
    It is also the intention of this statement to put an end to the substantial malicious and erroneous speculation that appears on the various websites. Having taken this step of publishing full particulars of his involvement and offering to answer any reasonable questions arising from this statement, if further unfounded allegations are repeated he will take action as necessary to protect his reputation including action against individuals, internet service providers and internet forums who permit publication of defamatory and abusive material.

    WHEATCROFT COLLECTION
    Kevin Wheatcroft is a reputable business man with an interest in the collection and restoration to a usable condition of World War II military equipment principally tanks. His collection is extensive and well known. It is a private collection but illustrations of items that can be found in the collection are given at website index. The collection is entirely legitimate. Kevin Wheatcroft does not and will not engage in any unlawful activity to procure any of his collection. Any suggestion that he has obtained improperly any item in the collection is false and defamatory.

    THIRD PARTY DEALINGS
    Because of his reputation as a collector he receives invitations to purchase items from various sources that will supposedly enhance his collection. If Mr Wheatcroft has any doubt about the integrity of the person offering items or the integrity of the item itself he will not deal with that person nor will he acquire the item on offer. However from time to time notwithstanding his best endeavours to satisfy himself of the integrity of the people with whom he comes in contact there are or there emerge facts which were previously unknown that cast doubt on the integrity of the transaction.

    ENGINE AND GEAR BOX
    Insofar as the engine and gear box is concerned Kevin Wheatcroft was approached by Daniel Misik in 2004 when Mr Misik offered a Maybach engine to him. Mr Wheatcroft agreed to make the purchase and the Maybach engine is now part of his collection. There was never any suggestion that the transaction undertaken with Mr Misik on that occasion was anything other than lawful.
    On a later occasion Daniel Misik again approached Kevin Wheatcroft with the offer of an engine and gear box then on display by a Swedish museum. He was told the items were available in exchange for other display items. In view of the previous experience with Mr Wheatcroft in dealing with Mr Misik at the time of first contact he had no reason to believe that there was anything wrong with the transaction. It only later turned out that the circumstances whereby Mr Misik was in a position to offer the engine and gear box were unlawful.
    Kevin Wheatcroft accepted the offer and in due course took possession of the
    engine and gear box. The first time he was aware of anything untoward with these items was when his home was raided by the police early one morning. He was accused of theft by the police. He and his family were shocked by the unfounded allegation. When the full nature of the transaction was explained to him he immediately offered to return the items to the museum and he co-operated fully with the police so that criminal proceedings could be brought against Mr Misik. No allegations of wrong doing were ever made against Mr Wheatcroft nor have proceedings ever been brought against him. He is aware that court papers relating to the prosecution are circulating on the internet. He has not authorised the publication of any documents but it is manifest from these documents that he was not engaged in any unlawful activity nor has he sought to cause any harm to any person in relation to the acquisition of these articles.

    TIGER TANKS AND THE US ARMY
    The second series of emails relates to his interest in a Tiger Tank.
    There is confusion and consequently inaccurate information circulating regarding the tank. The items now in his possession do not constitute a complete tank. They were held in a German museum. Its curator is well known to Kevin Wheatcroft. He was approached by the curator of a US museum to ask for help in retrieving three tanks from various German museums as the German museums were uncooperative in returning them to America. Kevin Wheatcroft agreed to rescue the three tanks in question and deliver them to the UK, where he was to take over control. The vehicles were to remain in the Wheatcroft Collection for an unspecified time for the purposes of restoring them. Sadly the restoration work did not take place because the American museum would not agree to a contract for the work. The tanks were recovered in accordance with the arrangement with the American
    museum over 10 years ago. All shipping and movement documents are in Mr
    Wheatcrofts possession.
    The American Army has indicated that it would like to recover possession of the parts and other items in the collection. Mr Wheatcroft has not refused to return the tank but not unreasonably, he has asked that all his expenses incurred in connection with restoration and removal to the UK be reimbursed. He has offered to retain the items for the purposes of making a replica and restoring an original.
    So far the US Army has not made any further response to these proposals. It is entirely erroneous to suggest Mr Wheatcroft has refused to return the items. It is for the US Army to decide how it wishes to proceed.

    FUTURE ACTION
    The continued repetition of inaccurate information is damaging to Mr Wheatcroft’s reputation and must cease if legal action is to be avoided.
    Some of the unreasoned and unreasoning postings indicate that the authors have no interest in understanding the truth of the situation but only an interest in publishing defamatory and abusive statements about Mr Wheatcroft. The authors of the postings are all warned that further repetition of their actions will have grave consequences.
    As stated earlier Mr Wheatcroft is prepared to answer any reasonable questions emailed to wheatcroftquestions@gmail.com in the course of the next 7 days (the 7 day period for questions to be put is 21 – 28 April 2011 – questions received after 28 April 2011 will not be answered). Mr Wheatcroft will require a period of 14 days to answer any reasonable questions received. Thereafter any repetition of the defamatory remarks made on the websites will result in action. This statement has been sent to the internet forums responsible for hosting defamatory content on blog sites.
     
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