German investigators said on Wednesday that they had started a manhunt for suspects who had escaped with 6.5 million euros in cash after breaking into a customs office.
“The break-in was professionally planned and carried out: three as yet unidentified perpetrators used an exercise to get to the vault from an adjoining room in the basement of the building,” the police said in a statement.
“From there they stole around 6.5 million euros in cash.”
The raid that hit the customs office in the western city of Duisburg took place on Sunday November 1st.
Witnesses said they heard drilling noises around 6:00 a.m. Three hours later, three men in dark clothes and dark knitted hats were seen entering and leaving the building to load items into a white van with sliding doors.
They then drove off in the van.
Another witness noted that a man was walking around the customs office before getting into a car and heading in the same direction as the van.
Photos of the man taken by the witness were released by the police, who are offering a reward of 100,000 euros for information leading to the arrest and / or conviction of the suspects.
100 kg gold coin
Germany has been hit by several high-profile raids, with banks and museums being frequent targets.
In February, a Berlin court sentenced three men to prison terms of several years for the spectacular theft of a 100-kilogram gold coin from one of the museums in the German capital.
The police have not found any trace of the Canadian coin since the nightly attack in March 2017 in the Bode Museum near Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Berlin apartment.
The “Big Maple Leaf”, one of five minted in 2007, is the second largest gold coin in the world after the 1-ton Australian kangaroo issued in 2012.
Two of the convicted men belong to a family of Arab descent notorious for their links to organized crime, while the third was a security guard at the museum.
The Remmo family, whose patriarchs fled war-torn Lebanon in the 1980s, are considered one of the most notorious organized crime clans in Berlin.
In November last year, priceless diamonds were part of a huge piece of jewelry that was stolen from the Green Vault Museum in the Dresden Royal Palace.
A half-million euro reward was offered for information about the spectacular break-in, but no suspects have yet been named.
None of the objects, many of which are set with hundreds of diamonds, have been recovered.
At least three bank robbery attempts were most recently reported in Berlin in the summer.
A bank in the upscale central district of Wilmersdorf was hit twice. Reportedly, thieves made off with half a million euros on their first bid while holding up a money truck.
It was unclear whether any money was taken on the second attempt.
A bank of its own in the German capital was also hit in August, but thieves fled empty-handed.
(This story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)