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4 Arrested in Connection With Gold Coin Heist From Berlin Museum

  • VOA News

A man is lead away by police officers in Berlin Wednesday, July 12, 2017, after special police units have raided several homes in connection with a 100-kilogram (221-pound) gold coin stolen from a city museum. The "Big Maple Leaf" coin, worth several million euros (dollars), was stolen in a spectacular heist from Berlin's Bode museum in March.

Police in Germany have arrested four suspects in connection with a $4 million gold coin heist earlier this year from Berlin's Bode Museum.

Around 300 special police commandos took part in raids Wednesday morning in Berlin's Neukoelln area, but still did not find the missing coin.

"We are at the moment conducting searches and executing arrest warrants in several places in Berlin concerning the break-in at the Bode museum in March," said Berlin police.

The coin "was either cut into small pieces or taken abroad," said Carsten Pfohl of the Berlin criminal police office during a press conference.

"My hope that we'll recover even parts of the coin is unfortunately relatively low," he said, adding authorities have to presume the coin was sold off in parts or whole.

The robbery occurred during the night of March 27, when the thieves used a ladder and rope to get into a window of the prestigious museum, and a wheelbarrow to carry away the 100-kilogram coin.

The image of Queen Elizabeth II is on the face of the coin, which was made by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2007 and is known as "Big Maple Leaf."

Police say the four unidentified suspects have close ties to a Berlin-based crime group associated with an Arabic family clan.

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