Four arrested over theft of 100kg commemorative coin in Germany

Four arrested including security guard over theft of 100kg commemorative coin in Germany

The Big Maple Leaf coin has been stolen

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Four men have been arrested on suspicion of stealing a 100kg coin worth around £800,000 from a museum in Germany.

The Big Maple Leaf coin was stolen from Berlin’s Bode Museum on Museum Island in March and one of the four arrested is a museum security guard, The Local said.

The security guard who worked at the museum is known to police for licence plate theft and not paying for petrol, according to newspaper Tagesspiegel.

It is thought those who stole the commemorative coin wanted to melt it down so they could make it into small pieces of gold.

The coin was issued by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2007 and is valued by the museum at £800,000, but the market price for gold of the coin's weight is about £3.3 million.

Criminal investigator Carsten Pfohl said: “We are assuming that the coin was in part or in whole sold off.

“I unfortunately have relatively little hope that we will find the coin, even in pieces.”

Prosecutor Martina Lamb has claimed those arrested are from a family of criminals. Nine other people linked to the family are currently being investigated.

CCTV footage was released earlier this month showing three people covering their faces and dressed in black on a platform at Hackescher Markt S-Bahn station in Berlin.

Police say two of those in the video have been arrested.

A car was also seized by special police forces this morning (July 12) as several apartments and an Arabic jewellery shop were also searched.

During the searches police also seized four guns and a six-figure sum of money.