Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Germany makes arrests over theft of giant solid-gold coin

A Canadian $1m Big Maple Leaf coin identical to that stolen from Berlin's Bode Museum A Canadian $1m Big Maple Leaf coin identical to that stolen from Berlin's Bode Museum Peter Bader Reuters
Felix Bryan | 13 July, 2017, 00:17

German special police have arrested several people suspected of having carried out the old-fashioned heist of a €4m (£3.6m) 100kg gold in Berlin.

As DW reported in late March, the group of thieves likely broke into Berlin's Bode Museum from an elevated section of tram tracks which run alongside the museum walls.

But they found no sign of the loot - Canada's "Big Maple Leaf" coin, which has a face value of one million Canadian dollars and is estimated to be worth 3.75 million euros (USD 4.3 million) on the gold market.

A spokesperson confirmed newspaper reports that the suspects arrested at two properties in the Neukölln district were members of an "Arabic-Kurdish clan" known to investigators in connection with drug smuggling, arms trading and racketeering.

Last week, police released CCTV footage of suspects at a local train station.

"We've got enough evidence to charge them", said Carsten Pfohl of the Berlin regional criminal force, who headed the investigation into one of the most audacious robberies in recent German history.

Experts think the coin may have been melted down already to cash in on the gold. He added that police also confiscated clothes and cars to comb for traces of gold. Police also searched a jewelry store in the Berlin neighborhood, saying they had indications the store may have been involved in the possible sale of the gold.

While one side of these coins features a hand-polished maple leaf design by Royal Canadian Mint artist and engraver Stan Witten, the other bears the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by celebrated Canadian portrait artist Susanna Blunt.

"It is 100 kilos, made by the Canadian Mint, and is of high purity", Bernhard Weisser, director of the museum's coin department, said in an interview. They grabbed the coin, loaded it onto a wheelbarrow and then carted it out of the building and along the tracks across the Spree river before descending into a park on a rope and fleeing in a getaway vehicle.

Recommended

Your Health Study Suggests Link between Poor Sleep and Alzheimer's Your Health Study Suggests Link between Poor Sleep and Alzheimer's Each person rated the amount they slept, their quality of sleep and trouble in sleeping, along with daytime naps and drowsiness. In the study, 17 healthy men and women aged 35 to 65 years took part in two sets of procedures, about a month apart.

Kelechi Iheanacho rejected Monaco: He will sign for Leicester City Kelechi Iheanacho rejected Monaco: He will sign for Leicester City He was linked with a slew of Premier League clubs but in recent weeks, Leicester City have emerged as the most interested club. Kelechi Iheanacho has looked impressive when called upon at Manchester City but is still some way off the starting XI.

Charlie Gard Case Back Before UK High Court Charlie Gard Case Back Before UK High Court A judge is overseeing the latest round of litigation at a High Court hearing in London after "new" evidence was presented. What is wrong with Charlie Gard? Charlie suffers from the genetic disorder mitochondrial depletion syndrome.

Palestinians hail UNESCO Hebron vote protested by Israel Palestinians hail UNESCO Hebron vote protested by Israel In an intractable and long-running battle, Unesco's recognition is, at least, a move in the right direction for Palestinians. At the centre of the dispute is the site known to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque and to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs .

Tour de France 2017, stage seven Tour de France 2017, stage seven Dan is now fourth overall at 25 seconds, so there is the possibility we could have an Irishman in yellow by Sunday. I think tomorrow we could see the GC [general classification] really blown to pieces and proper gaps opening up.

Acrobat Falls to Death Prior to Green Day's Performance at Spanish Festival Acrobat Falls to Death Prior to Green Day's Performance at Spanish Festival Specialist in aerial dance Pedro Aunión Monroy , was suspended in a cage during the Mad Cool festival in Madrid , on Friday night. The group, which lists its base as Brixton, south London, performed in Mr Aunion's native Spain under the name Compañíadehecho.

UK Police Say More People Might Be Involved in Manchester Attack UK Police Say More People Might Be Involved in Manchester Attack Flowers and messages for the victims of the Manchester Arena attack are seen in central Manchester, Britain May 23, 2017. Officers are said to now be "engaged" with authorities in Libya where Salman's brother, Hashem, is being held.

Mother Arrested After Allegedly Killing Her Husband And Four Children — Georgia Stabbings Mother Arrested After Allegedly Killing Her Husband And Four Children — Georgia Stabbings The hospitalized girl was still alive Thursday afternoon, police said in a brief update on the case. The female suspect and male victim were parents to all of the children, police said.

Wildfire north of Breckenridge prompts evacuations Wildfire north of Breckenridge prompts evacuations The Sheriff's Office encourages the public to comply with the evacuation order, which is in place for the safety of the public. The base of the ski resort, which includes hotels and restaurants, has not yet been evacuated.

Barnier sets the price for hard Brexit Despite his ominous tone, Barnier stressed: "There is no punishment for Brexit". We can not let the single market unravel.

Merkel and Xi meet to lay foundations for G20 talks Merkel and Xi meet to lay foundations for G20 talks In its new manifesto the CDU/CSU refers to the relationship as Germany's most important "partnership" outside Europe. Both leaders have a lot to discuss, from the issues of refugees to the counter-terrorism measures.

J&K will be benefitted most by GST: BJP J&K will be benefitted most by GST: BJP PDP MLA Javid Beg reacted sharply to Rashid's statement followed by BJP members demanding Rashid's suspension. He also read out the provisional GST registration numbers of various businesses owned by Rana and his family.

Transfer round-up: Leicester agree Iborra deal Transfer round-up: Leicester agree Iborra deal He is likely to compete with Nampalys Mendy for playing time alongside Wilfried Ndidi and Danny Drinkwater . Iborra is a defensive midfielder who is powerful in the air and can control the tempo of a game.

AirAsia X flight D7207 passengers: We saw sparks coming from the engine AirAsia X flight D7207 passengers: We saw sparks coming from the engine AirAsia X chief executive Benyamin Ismail said the pilot and crew took "swift action" to reassure passengers during the incident. In a statement AirAsia X confirmed a bird strike was the cause, adding: "Two bird remains were found on the runway".

Everton hope to announce signing of Burnley defender on Monday Everton hope to announce signing of Burnley defender on Monday Keane was reportedly hopeful of a return to former club Manchester United , but they opted to sign Victor Lindelof from Benfica. The Toffees may also conduct further business with Burnley this summer after reports talks have opened over striker Andre Gray.