This giant Canadian gold coin, one of five made in 2007, is likely no more. Stolen from a Berlin museum, the police believe it was quickly cut into small pieces, melted down or taken abroad. It value was estimated at about $6 million.(Marcel Mettelsiefen-DPA-AP)

The Great Berlin gold heist

Share

It was the perfect crime…well, almost perfect. It involved none of the high-tech gimmicks and and meticulous split second timing by team of ultra sophisticated thieves like you see in the movies.

The Bode Museum in Berlin where the coin was on display in a bulletproof enclosure. (google streetview)

What it did involve was an ordinary ladder,  some rope, a wheelbarrow, maybe a heavy hammer…and a couple of strong men.

What they took in March of 2017, was a giant Canadian coin  weighing 100 kilograms of  99.999 per cent pure gold.  The coin with a face value of a million dollars, is estimated to be worth almost $6 million in gold.  It had been purchased by a German investor and was on loan to the museum.

Almost perfect crime

It was well timed as the the theft occurred in the early morning hours at a time when no trains passed. They smashed through an unguarded window in the security guard change room at the back of the building relatively out of sight, and the theft involved the most simple of tools.  It was an almost perfect crime, almost, because the thieves were caught.

The theft was in March and police tracked them down in July.

The Bode Museum, a triangular shape, is at the tip of an island, The railway track runs just behind it. (Google Earth)

Four men are now on trial in Berlin this week for the theft. Three men, aged between 20 and 24 years of age appeared in court yesterday, along with a fourth man who worked as a security guard and is believed to have provided information about the museum layout and coin to the thieves.

A German news report lists three men as unemployed brothers connected to a family clan with roots in Lebanon, with several members known to police.

The coins are called “the Big Maple Leaf due to the maple leaf images on coin.(Getty Images)

It’s thought two men broke into the museum by using a ladder to an upper window, smashed the bulletproof cubicle holding the coin- which weighs almost as much as a small car engine- carted it to the window where they tossed it down before loading onto the wheelbarrow and along the tracks over the Spree River to where the tracks pass over a park. They may have then dropped the coin and lowered themselves down a rope into the park, and put the coin into a waiting getaway car.

There are (or were) five of the giant gold coins made by the Canadian mint starting in 2007.

It’s believed the stolen coin had already been cut up into pieces and perhaps melted down and will never be recovered.

Additional information-sources

Share
Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in International, Society

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*