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Vol du musée de Dresde : la police arrête des suspects et cherche les diamants

Dresde : la police arrête des suspects et cherche les diamants

Les trois personnes arrêtées sont soupçonnées d’avoir participé au cambriolage du Grünes Gewölbe (« la Voûte verte ») de Dresde, en novembre 2019. De nombreuses perquisitions ont été menées pour tenter de retrouver les joyaux dérobés.

Le Musée de la Voûte verte, à Dresde. SEBASTIAN KAHNERT / AFP

A year after a spectacular theft of diamonds from a museum in Dresden, the mystery could be solved with the arrest, Tuesday, November 17 in Germany, of three suspects, accompanied by numerous searches to try to find the stolen gems.

The police intervened in the early morning in the popular and trendy district of Neukölln, in the heart of Berlin, where they launched a major operation, mobilizing more than 1,600 agents. Result: three people arrested, "strongly suspected" of having participated in the burglary of the Grünes Gewölbe ("the Green Vault") in Dresden, in November 2019 , and 18 searches of "apartments, garages and vehicles" . The three arrested men, of German nationality, are suspected of "aggravated thefts in an organized group and arson" for two of them.

According to the tabloid Bild , the police link this case to the activities of a criminal family clan of Lebanese origin very active in Germany and already involved in the theft of a giant 100 kg gold coin, worth approximately 3.75 million euros, stolen in 2017 from the Bode-Museum in Berlin. The perpetrators had been sentenced to prison terms, but the Canadian gold coin, called the Big Maple Leaf and on which appeared the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, has never been found.Investigators suspect that the gold may have been smelted and shipped or sold abroad.

"The epaulette case"

Regarding the daring theft of Dresden, investigators are also trying to get in on all or part of the stolen booty: ten ornaments of the XVIII th  century, with jewels and precious stones, several "hundreds" of diamonds, including a 49 carats. This unique piece was incorporated into an epaulet. The Saxony police have also baptized their investigation “the epaulette case” . A sword whose hilt is encrusted with nine large diamonds and 770 small diamonds is also among the objects.

The police operation is “focused on the search for stolen artistic treasures and possible evidence, such as data storage media, clothing and tools,” the Dresden prosecutor's office said in a statement. “You would have to be very lucky to find [the objects] a year after the crime,” however, Dresden police spokesman Thomas Geithner warned Tuesday to journalists in Berlin

Des policiers allemands sécurisent une rue de Berlin lors d’une importante opération de police un an après le cambriolage du musée de Dresde, le 17 novembre 2020. TOBIAS SCHWARZ / AFP

On November 25, 2019, the burglars entered the Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault) Museum at dawn in the baroque city of the former GDR and committed their crime there within minutes.

The management had described the stolen pieces of historical and cultural value "inestimable" and not quantifiable. The burglary had caused a stir in Germany, the Minister of Culture speaking of the theft "of constituent parts of our identity as a cultural nation [which] touches our hearts" . The investigators offered a reward of 500,000 euros for any information in this case.

The "Remmo clan"

A fire had destroyed an electrical transformer located near the establishment, thus deactivating the museum's alarms and the lighting of the adjacent streets. A surveillance camera continued to operate and filmed two men. The thieves entered through a small opening of a museum window and broke into the vault green Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland in the XVIII th  century.

According to Bild, those arrested belong to the “Remmo clan” , a large Kurdish family of Lebanese origin which has often had trouble with the police and the justice system in the past. Several family groups "rule" in the underworld of Berlin and function as criminal organizations, powerful and wealthy, according to experts.

From 1723 Augustus II, known as Augustus the Strong, was stored in the museum, built in the XVI th  century, his personal collection, combined with jewels and works of the Renaissance or Baroque art. The museum, one of the oldest in Europe, has an incomparable collection of treasures, made up of silversmiths, precious stones, porcelain, ivory or amber sculptures, bronzes or vessels set with precious stones.

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