Several People Arrested After 100kg Gold Coin Stolen In Berlin
German police have executed search warrants across Berlin and arrested several people in connection to the theft of a commemorative coin worth €4 million (£3.54 million).
The 'Big Maple Leaf' coin, which was a Canadian gift to Germany, was stolen from the city's Bode Museum in March this year.
Some of the members taken into custody during the raid in the Neukölln district were members of an 'Arabic-Kurdish clan', reports the Guardian. That clan is alleged to have ties to drug smuggling, arms trading and racketeering.
Police believe the thieves involved in the daring heist brokeinto the museum through a third story window, which they reached by propping a ladder up on railway tracks.
Once the team had the coin outside the museum, it was loaded onto a wheelbarrow and pushed across a bridge before they abseiled to lower ground.
It's feared that the commemorative coin was damaged during the heist and has been melted down by the robbers. An investigator told Die Welt newspaper: "The trick used by such criminals is that they add, for example, a little bit of copper to the molten gold in order to change the purity levels and cover their tracks."
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The police team involved in the raids were led to some of the addresses through DNA evidence. Authorities believe 'there is a considerable danger from these people'.
It's also unclear whether the thieves had help from within the museum on the night of the heist.
The coin was issued by the Canadian Royal Mint in 2007, with one side featuring an image of Queen Elizabeth II's face and the other showing a Canadian maple leaf.
Credit: Canadian Royal Mint
Boasting a 53-centimetre diameter and three-centimetre thickness, it's one of only five that was issued 10 years ago. It was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for its impressive degree of gold purity.
It was loaned to the Bode Museum in 2010, where it has sat for seven years. The museum is heralded for its coin collection and is one of the largest in the world.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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