Four Are Arrested in Theft of Giant Gold Coin From Berlin Museum

Posted July 13, 2017

Up to 300 German police officers were deployed on Wednesday for raids over the robbery of a 100 kg gold coin from Berlin's Bode Museum in March.

Regarded as the world's largest gold coin, it was stolen from Berlin's Bode Museum.

The Canadian "Big Maple Leaf" stolen in late March has a face value of $1 million, but the market price of 100 kilos of gold is nearly $4 million.

"My hope that we'll recover even parts of the coin is unfortunately relatively low".

"We've got enough evidence to charge them", said Carsten Pfohl of the Berlin regional criminal force, who headed the investigation into one of the most audacious robberies in recent German history.

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

Police searched two apartments and a jeweler's store in Berlin's Neukoelln district. The website of Royal Canadian Mint says the coins were originally conceived as a unique showpiece to promote the mint's new line of 99999 pure 1 oz Gold Maple Leaf bullion coins.

At least two thieves had entered the museum through a third-floor window in the early hours of the morning by propping up a ladder on the elevated tracks of the railway between Hackescher Markt and Friedrichstrasse stations. After several interested buyers came forward, the Mint decided to make a very limited number of coins available for sale.

The raids took place and a vehicle was seized in the district of Neukoelln, German news agency DPA reports. They then transported the coin in a wheelbarrow to the other side of the river where they loaded it into a vehicle and drove away.

Police were unable to provide information about the whereabouts of the coin.

It features a portrait of the Queen Elizabeth II, Canada's nominal head of state.

Police in early July published video surveillance footage of the suspected thieves that showed three men wearing dark clothes, their faces obscured by hoodies, high collars and their hands.