Four Berlin men deny giant gold coin heist

Evarado Alatorre
Enero 11, 2019

The coin is valued at €3.75m. German media say the men could face up to three years and 10 months jail.

A ladder, a wheelbarrow and a getaway vehicle were allegedly used in the heist.

Police have found no trace of the 100kg Canadian coin since the late-night heist in March 2017 from the German capital's Bode Museum, located close to Chancellor Angela Merkel's apartment. It has a face value of $1 million but is thought to be worth four times as much.

A defence lawyer told the court that police had presented "not a single shred of evidence" to show that the Remmo men had stolen the coin. The fourth suspect, Dennis W, worked as a guard at the museum for a private security firm and is accused of scouting out the scene.

The men hid their faces behind magazines as they entered the court and during the proceedings.

The coin, which has a diameter of 53 centimetres, was on loan from an unidentified collector to the Bode Museum, which describes its exhibition of coins and medals as a "chronicle of human history forged in metal".

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The robbers allegedly used a ladder to enter the museum's third-floor window at night, destroyed the bulletproof glass guarding the coin, and used a wheelbarrow to transport the coin to their auto.

In the dead hours of a dark night in March 2017 three hooded men staged an outrageous break-in at a Berlin museum. They apparently dropped the coin twice on the floor during the heist.

The sequel to the Big Maple Leaf robbery is being played out in a Berlin court.

The suspects' Remmo family, whose patriarchs fled war-torn Lebanon in the 1980s, is considered by police to be one of Berlin's most notorious organised crime clans.

Police past year targeted the Remmos with the seizure of 77 properties worth a total of €9.3m, charging that they were purchased with the proceeds of various crimes, including a 2014 bank robbery.

At the start of the trial, the head of German police union BDK, Sebastian Fiedler, said that "without doubt, clan criminality in all its facets is a prime example of completely failed integration".

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