Thirteen arrested over German cashpoint explosions that netted gang over EUR 1.6 million

(Source: Europol)

The last phase of the investigation took place on 28 June, which saw over 100 officers involved on the ground in Germany (North Rhine Westphalia) and the Netherlands.

A total of thirteen gang members were arrested as a result of this investigation:

  • One arrest in Deurne, the Netherlands (28 June 2022)
  • One arrest in Amsterdam, the Netherlands (9 June 2022)
  • Five arrests in Nijmegen, the Netherlands (8 June 2022)
  • Two arrests in Eupen, Belgium (29 May 2022)
  • Three arrests in Meckenheim, Germany (March 2022)
  • One arrest in Deventer, the Netherlands (March 2022)

This case was led by the German Police Directorate of Osnabrück (Polizeidirektion Osnabrück), under the supervision of the Osnabrück Public Prosecutor’s Office.

The gang is believed to have targeted a total of 21 cash machines in Rhineland-Palatinate (8), North-Rhine Westphalia (7), Lower Saxony (4) and Hesse (2) between March 2021 and May 2022, stealing around EUR 1.6 million.

These attacks are estimated to have caused over EUR 4 million worth of damage to the targeted premises, demonstrating that the criminals have no insight into the risk of harm, or even possibility of death, to those who lived nearby or who were near the cash machines at the time.

Europol support

Europol’s European Serious Organised Crime Centre supported the investigation from the onset by bringing together the national investigators from Germany and the Netherlands to establish a joint strategy and to organise the intensive exchange of evidence needed to prepare for final phase of the investigation.

A Europol expert was also deployed to Amsterdam to assist the national investigators with the action day.

Life-threatening

Law enforcement is increasing concerned about the increasingly heavier explosives that criminals are using to gain access to the cash machines’ content

These explosions are putting at risk the lives of local residents and bystanders: the surrounding buildings can collapse, or fragments of the explosion hit passers-by.

In some cases, the perpetrators also escape the crime scene in powerful motorised vehicles at high speed (250 km/h), causing a serious risk to public safety.

The following authorities took part in this investigation:

  • Germany: Police Directorate of Osnabrück, Public Prosecutor’s Office Osnabrück, Public Prosecutor’s Office Mainz, LKA Rhineland-Palatinate, General Public Prosecutor’s Office Frankfurt, LKA Hesse, Police Department of Mittelhessen, Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt)
  • The Netherlands: National Police Amsterdam, Public Prosecutor’s Office
  • Belgium: Federal Judicial Police Eupen
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