Author Topic: Canadian "coin" worth €3.7m stolen in Berlin  (Read 1021 times)

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Offline chrisild

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Canadian "coin" worth €3.7m stolen in Berlin
« on: March 27, 2017, 04:25:54 PM »
A big and heavy gold piece was stolen from the Bode Museum in Berlin last night. The 100 kg "coin" has a value of €3.7 million. Seems that the thieves managed to get into the museum building from the nearby rail tracks; that must have been at 3.30 h. Apparently construction works "facilitated" the theft ... Story in German: https://www.rbb-online.de/panorama/beitrag/2017/03/millionen-dollar-muenzdiebstahl-im-bode-museum-berlin.html

Christian

Offline chrisild

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Re: Canadian "coin" worth €3.7m stolen in Berlin
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2017, 04:30:42 PM »
This is one of only five Big Maple Leaf coins; has been at the museum since 2010. The beast, errm, piece has a diameter of 53 cm. Seems that no other objects were stolen ...

Christian

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Canadian "coin" worth €3.7m stolen in Berlin
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2017, 05:00:48 PM »
Well, 127 kilos, so, as the short video shows, two stocky guys to lift the monster and two brainless helpers to keep it still and going in the right direction. The muscled men start getting interested only when someone uses the word million and they all want to embarras Germany.

Mmmm.

No no no, it can't be. Putin and Trump would never co-operate for a measly less then €4 million and Wilders and Le Pen fille would not follow orders blindly! Would they? :wicked:

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Bimat

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Re: Canadian "coin" worth €3.7m stolen in Berlin
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2017, 05:25:27 AM »
I doubt if such theft is possible without insiders' help!

Aditya
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Canadian "coin" worth €3.7m stolen in Berlin
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2017, 11:10:58 AM »
The police and the prosecutor's office tend to cautiously agree with you. ;) Obviously security could have been better, but still, a thieve needs to know what and where the "weak" spots are ...

While it is quite likely that the "coin" will be taken apart and melted down, this is not really a worst case scenario. After all, the value of this object is well known - basically just the PM value. So it was not too difficult to get insurance coverage. With rare historic coins (and the Bode Museum has quite a few) it would be different, just as with unique works of art or archeological objects - think of the Ishtar Gate, or the Miletus Market Gate, in the nearby Pergamon Museum.

So yes, the insurance will cover this. Note that the coin was not owned by the museum; it was a permanent loan. So the owner Boris Fuchsmann, a German-Ukrainian housing developer from Düsseldorf, will get his money back. Two short texts about him:
http://www.worldjewishcongress.org/en/bio/boris-fuchsmann
https://www.rcfp.org/browse-media-law-resources/news/german-court-claims-jurisdiction-lawsuit-against-american-author
(As you can see, the New York Times article is still there. :) )

Christian

Offline jazz

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Re: Canadian "coin" worth €3.7m stolen in Berlin
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2017, 01:03:16 PM »
Just read this article on BBC news and sharing here.

Germany makes arrests over theft of giant solid-gold coin -

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-40579867

Thanks,

Vishal

Offline Bimat

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Re: Canadian "coin" worth €3.7m stolen in Berlin
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2017, 05:07:59 PM »
Two arrested over theft of massive £3,000,000 gold coin theft from museum

Nicole Morley for Metro.co.ukWednesday
12 Jul 2017 3:43 pm

Police have raided homes in an investigation into the sophisticated heist of a huge solid gold coin worth £3,000,000.
The QE II coin, which shows Queen Elizabeth’s likeness and weighs around 220lbs, was stolen from the Bode Museum on March 27.

Special police units have since undertaken multiple raids and arrested two members of one family believed to have links to organised crime.

The raids took place on Wednesday morning in the Neukoelln borough of the German capital of Berlin.

Members of the German special police forces (SEK) discovered a balaclava and a knife in the Mercedes AMG E-class of one of the suspects.

Officers were seen carrying cardboard boxes into one of the raided houses.

According to one police source, two suspects were arrested who are members of a large Arab-Kurdish family known to authorities.

The police officer said: ‘These people do everything as long as it makes money. Drugs and weapons smuggling and protection racketeering.’

The whereabouts of the coin have not yet been clarified.

The investigator said: ‘The trick of such criminals is to add some copper to the molten gold for example, and thus to change the purity, thereby obscuring the traces.’

CCTV footage released by police shows how three men dressed in black walked into the suburban railway station of Hakescher Markt at 3am that morning.

It seems the thieves were clearly professionals going by the way they scanned the historic railway station for cameras and hid their faces.

The solid golden coin comes from Canada and the other side shows an image of a maple leaf.

So far all attempts to find the criminals had been unsuccessful.

Source: Metro
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Canadian "coin" worth €3.7m stolen in Berlin
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2017, 09:00:37 AM »
Some new things have happened in the meantime:

On July 12, 4 people were arrested and 9 other peole were suspected to have been involved. The 4 that were arrested are all under the age of 21 so they will be charged as minors. The thieves already tried to break into the museum 6 days prior but that attempt failed because of unknown reasons.

On July 13, it became clear that 1 of the 4 arrested people became security guard at the Bode Museum a few weeks prior to the theft. 3 of the 4 arrested people as well as the 9 other suspects are connected to the same smuggling ring. A large amount of cash and several vehicles were seized during raids as well as 4 shotguns. Shoes and clothing were seized for further examination.

On July 28, it became clear that during the raid on July 12 a 100 kilo gold bar was seized which likely is what is left of the gold coin. 1 of the 4 arrested youths was released, though still under investigation, while 3 others are still in a juvenile correctional facility in Berlin. None of them are cooperating with the police. The Lebanese authorities do not help very well in the investigation to the Arab-Lebanese crime family.

Offline Bimat

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Re: Canadian "coin" worth €3.7m stolen in Berlin
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2017, 03:58:47 PM »
Daily Mail has done a story on this, along with a video.

Aditya
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.

Online quaziright

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Re: Canadian "coin" worth €3.7m stolen in Berlin
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2019, 10:45:04 PM »
Yesterday’s paper update to the German heist

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Canadian "coin" worth €3.7m stolen in Berlin
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2019, 10:09:07 AM »
This thingy is not as consequential as other thefts from museums or churches, especially as far as historic value is concerned, but it leaves me with the same feeling of "why wasn't it better protected"? Smashing a case should be hard. I see shops using hardened material for their shop windows. Why can't museums have hardened cases? Opening a museum window should be impossible. Recovering something from just outside the walls of a museum without being filmed is a major security omission.

Peter
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 10:34:19 AM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Canadian "coin" worth €3.7m stolen in Berlin
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2019, 10:48:21 AM »
The entire theft was a major farce and once again an obvious example of the fact that laxity in the security of museums will sooner or later be punished. The director of the public coin collections of Berlin (including that of the Bode Museum) told me some time ago he is still devastated about it.

It is frustrating that it remains unclear what precisely happened to the coin itself. In July 2017 there was reported that during one of the raids a 100 kilo gold bar was found, now they mention the coin having possibly been cut up and the pieces having been sold. And while police have given up hope of ever finding it again, personally I think there may be hope.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 11:11:27 AM by eurocoin »

Offline chrisild

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Re: Canadian "coin" worth €3.7m stolen in Berlin
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2019, 11:36:47 AM »
In July 2017 there was reported that during one of the raids a 100 kilo gold bar was found, now they mention the coin having possibly been cut up and the pieces having been sold.

As for gold bars, they may have been from a different source. In 2014 some Remmo clan/family members broke into a bank in Berlin, cracked more than 300 SDBs open and stole jewelry, cash and gold worth about €10m.

Yes, of course the Remmos cannot simply sell this 100 kg beast. :) So it has to be cut, or maybe melted down. Problem with turning the gold into bars is that regular gold bars have refining company seals or stamps.

The investigators found gold particles with the suspects, and have been trying to prove, in cooperation with many different experts (metallurgy, RCM, etc.), that they are from the stolen coin. It is not very likely that any of the four will "fess up", so a lot will depend on whether the court finds the provided "evidence" convincing or not. But it sure is interesting how bad the security at the Bode Museum, or at least in that department, was ...

For example, the window that was opened for the burglary was not secured. One witness said that it constantly caused false alerts, so the alarm had been disactivated, or rather "on and off", since 2014. At night it had sometimes been open to get fresh air inside. A few days before the theft there had been a report about an attempt to break the glass - three days later some museum guard bothered to have a look. :(  Also, the night security person on that day was apparently a newbie; that was his first or second night service at the Bode Museum.

Since the suspected accomplice of the three brothers had been working at the museum, he may have had the opportunity (to put it carefully) to find out about such weak points. Now whether the museum had done more in terms of security if this had not been a loan but museum property ... no idea. Here are some articles in German; there are a few gazillion more. ;)

Gold-Räuber mit leichtem Spiel?: Zeuge spricht von defektem Alarm im Museum - (14 Jan, second day of the trial)
Münzraub: Sicherheitslücken im Museum - Panorama - Süddeutsche.de (14 Jan)

Gestohlene Goldmünze: Prozess gegen vier junge Männer beginnt (10 Jan, first day at court)
Prozess um Goldmünzen-Diebstahl: Ihre Dreistigkeit wird den Clans zum Verhängnis (10 Jan, background article about the Remmos)

To be continued (by the court) today ...

Christian