BERLIN (AP) – Berlin police raided homes and jewelry stores on Wednesday on suspicion that they could be linked to attempts to shield a massive 100 kilograms (220 pounds) Canadian gold coin. which was stolen from a museum in the German capital.
The coin, valued at 3.75 million euros ($ 4.45 million), was stolen from Berlin’s Bode Museum in 2017 and has not yet been recovered.
The morning attacks targeted eight suspects, aged between 14 and 51, of different nationalities, police said.
They are said to have been part of a ring that obtained stolen gold to melt it and forge collector coins, then sell them as real through jewelry stores run by them or their relatives. Some forgeries are already in circulation, police said.
The searches led to the discovery of counterfeit coins, counterfeit tools and a “five-digit” amount of money, police said.
“The evaluation of the evidence is underway,” police said. “A possible connection with the theft of the gold coin from the Soil Museum is being looked at.”
Berlin prosecutors said there were no arrests, but the investigation was continuing.
The searches came just two days after the arrest of a prime suspect in the spectacular theft of 18th-century jewelry from a museum in Dresden last year, belonging to a crime family linked to the Canadian theft of gold coins.
Mohamed Remmo, 21, was arrested by Berlin authorities Monday night in a car in the city’s Neukoelln district. His twin brother, Abdul Majed Remmo, remains on the run.
Police and prosecutors declined to say whether there was a link between the arrest and the searches, but members of the same family were convicted earlier this year for the theft of Canadian gold coins.
Cousins Ahmed Remmo and Wissam Remmo, along with a friend who worked as a security guard at the museum, were all convicted of that Canadian gold coin robbery and sentenced to several years in prison.