Two arrested over 100 kg gold coin robbery in Berlin

Berlin police commandos have arrested several people in connection with the theft of a giant gold coin from the city's.

The thieves stole the huge coin from the Bode Museum on the capital's Museum Island, close to Chancellor Angela Merkel's apartment, on March 27.

The coin, minted in 2007 within a very limited series, is made of 99.999 per cent pure gold and has a portrait of British Queen Elizabeth II on one side and a Canadian maple leaf on the other.

A spokesperson confirmed newspaper reports that the suspects arrested at two properties in the Neuk├Âlln district were members of an "Arabic-Kurdish clan" known to investigators in connection with drug smuggling, arms trading and racketeering. All suspects are related to one another and aged between 18 and 20, police said.

"We assume that the coin was sold, either complete or in parts", Carsten Pfohl, a spokesman for the Berlin state criminal office, said at the news conference. 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.


A auto was also seized by special police forces this morning (July 12) as several apartments and an Arabic jewellery shop were also searched.

Investigators believe the thiefs used a ladder and a wheelbarrow to remove the coin from the museum. It was produced by the Royal Canadian Mint. "The fact that the police was able to find evidence makes us happy and also eliminates our general mistrust against museum staff", he said.

It was probably damaged when the thieves dropped it twice - once onto rail tracks that pass the museum and cross the Spree river, and again in Monbijou park on the opposite river bank, from where they sped off in a auto.

Police in early July published video surveillance footage of the suspected thieves that showed three men wearing dark clothes, their faces obscured by hoodies, high collars and their hands.


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