Police make Berlin raids linked to coin heist

13 July, 2017, 00:18 | Author: Kristopher Anderson
  • Maple Leaf' coin in the Bode Museum in Berlin

German police commandos yesterday detained two suspects in the spectacular theft of a 100-kilogramme gold coin from a Berlin museum this year.

Royal Canadian Mint spokesman Alex Reeves said at the time of the theft that the coin has a face value of $1 million, but by weight alone it would be worth nearly US$4.5 million at market prices.

Armed police in balaclavas were outside a property in the Neukoelln area of Berlin, along with paramedics.

The raids of 13 different buildings lasted several hours, but the gold coin was not recovered. Its gold content is valued at about $4.2 million. All suspects are related to one another and aged between 18 and 20, police said.

Investigators found deep marks along the tracks, suggesting that the thieves dropped the coin on the way.

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Criminal investigator Carsten Pfohl said: "We are assuming that the coin was in part or in whole sold off". The police also found the rope, the ladder and the wheelbarrow as well a burning Mercedes in an underground vehicle park. The authorities also searched a neighborhood jewelry store that might have been involved in selling the gold.

The robbers are believed to have used a ladder to get into the museum and a wheelbarrow to carry the coin.

The thieves were most likely tipped off to the existence of the enormous coin by an acquaintance who worked at the museum as a guard, police said.

The coin was issued by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2007 and it is in the Guinness Book of Records for its purity of 999.99/1000 gold.

Video surveillance footage from a nearby railway station released by police this month showed three men wearing dark clothes, their faces obscured by hoodies, high collars and their hands. They then transported the coin in a wheelbarrow to the other side of the river where they loaded it into a vehicle and drove away. After several interested buyers came forward, the Mint decided to make a very limited number of coins available for sale.

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