German police have conducted a massive raid, detaining three people in connection with a notorious heist in 2019, when over $1 billion-worth of royal diamond jewels was stolen from a museum in Dresden.
Three suspects have been arrested during a massive police operation in Berlin on Tuesday morning, German media reports, citing a public prosecutor. Police conducted searches in 18 locations with over 1,600 officers participating in the raids.
“We are pleased to have arrested some of the suspects, and we are sure that we will get the others too,” Saxony police chief Horst Kretschmar told Bild newspaper.
The arrests were made in connection to the daring heist at the Green Vault museum in Dresden, which contains one of Europe’s largest treasure collections.
On November 25, 2019, a small fire was started at a power box on the nearby Augustus Bridge which disabled the security alarm. The security camera footage showed how burglars then broke into the museum and used an axe to smash the glass display cases. They stole several diamond royal jewelry sets worth around a billion euro ($1.18 billion), including a 49-karat diamond purchased by Augustus the Strong, the 18th century ruler of Saxony and Poland.
The jewels were never recovered. In January, Israeli security firm CGI Group reported that individuals who claimed to have owned two of the stolen diamonds were trying to sell them off on darknet.
According to Bild, the sites searched by police on Tuesday were owned by the criminal gang known as the Remmo clan. Its members were convicted of stealing a giant 100kg (220 pounds) gold coin from Berlin’s Bode Museum in 2017.
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