German ‘zombie hunters’ stopped at Swedish border with trove of weapons

Swedish border officials say they caught a German couple — who seemed prepared for the wrong kind of outbreak — after the pair tried to enter Sweden in a “zombie hunter” vehicle filled with weapons amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The couple arrived in Malmo, Sweden, via a ferry in late March, border officials told several local outlets this week. They were reportedly immigrating to Sweden in the middle of the COVID-19 outbreak, but seemingly didn’t think twice about loading up their decked-out Hummer with all of the survivalist gear they’d collected in Germany.

Their unusual vehicle stood out immediately to border guards, the customs agency told Sweden’s SVT News.

Photos show the couple arrived in a black and tan Hummer with a large “Zombie Response Team” decal on the door and another decal that said “infected people will be shot” along its side. The Hummer also had a black case on the roof with the words “missile launcher” written across it in a white military stencil.

Border officials searched the vehicle and retrieved at least 20 weapons, they told Sweden’s Sydsvenskan news outlet. Photos show a wide range of weapons were stashed in the vehicle, including rifles, pistols, several crossbows, teargas canisters, shock devices and a slingshot.

The couple said they were bringing the gear along for their move to Sweden and they didn’t think the weapons would be illegal, Sweden’s Aftonbladet newspaper reports.

They pleaded guilty to smuggling and weapons charges in connection with the incident, Ekstra Bladet reports. The couple also claimed the weapons were purely “ornamental,” and were not meant to cause harm to anyone.

“No information has emerged in the interrogations that they were planning to shoot zombies,” prosecutor Michelle Stein told SVT.

There are so-called “Zombie Outbreak Response Teams” around the world, although most of them are tongue-in-cheek survivalist groups that lean into the horror genre as a theme for their “prepper” activities.

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It’s unclear whether the German preppers packed the only weapon that matters in the current outbreak: a container of hand sanitizer.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

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