BERLIN — Berlin authorities raided homes and jewelry stores Wednesday on suspicion that they could be connected to attempts to fence a huge 100-kilogram (220-pound) Canadian gold coin — piece by piece — which has been stolen from a museum in the Italian capital.
The coin, having an estimated price of 3.75 million euros ($4.45 million) was stolen out of Berlin’s Bode Museum in 2017 and hasn’t been recovered.
The morning raids were concentrated on eight suspects, aged between 14 and 51, of different nationalities, authorities said.
They’re alleged to have been a part of a ring that got stolen gold to meltdown and forge collector coins, then promote them as real through jewelry shops managed by them or their loved ones.
The hunts resulted in the discovery of counterfeit coins, forgery tools along with also a”five-digit” amount of money, authorities said.
“The analysis of this evidence is continuing,” police said. “Among other things, a potential link to the theft of the gold coin in the Bode Museum has been being analyzed.”
Berlin prosecutors said there were no arrests but the investigation was ongoing.
The searches came only two weeks after the arrest of a key suspect in the dramatic theft of 18th-century stones from a Dresden museum this past year, who’s out of a crime family connected into this Canadian gold coin thieving.
Mohamed Remo, 21, was detained by Berlin police in a vehicle in the Neukoelln area of the town on Monday evening.
Police and prosecutors wouldn’t comment on if there was a relationship between the arrest and the searches, but members of the same household were detained earlier this season for its Canadian gold coin thieving.
Cousins Ahmed Remo and Wissam Remo, together with a buddy who was employed as a security guard at the museum, were convicted of the Canadian gold coin heist and sentenced to many years.