The Guinness Book awarded pure gold coin weighs 220 lbs.
On March 27th, authorities reported the robbery of one of the five existing maple leaf coins, known as “Big Maple Leaf” among coin enthusiasts. Criminals stole the massive coin out of the Bode Museum in Berlin, which holds more than 540,000 rare and special coins.
“Based on the information we have so far we believe that the thief, maybe thieves, broke open a window in the back of the museum next to the railway tracks,” said police spokesman Winfrid Wenzel in a statement published by NBC. “The coin was secured with bullet-proof glass inside the building. That much I can say.”
The coin was produced by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2007 at their Ottawa facility. The pure gold coin was initially conceived as a unique collection piece, but as several parties were interested in its purchase, the Mint decided to produce four more. Today, the 220 lb. (100kg) coin has an estimated value of approximately four million dollars.
Last Wednesday, police officials and a SWAT team raided 13 different buildings in Neukölln, Germany. This resulted in the detainment of four suspects between the ages of 18 and 20, including one of the museum’s security guards.
According to police, the gang used a ladder to climb inside a window on the third floor, where the coin case lay. Apparently they broke the bulletproof glass and somehow managed to carry the coin through the window, onto the train tracks, then moving it to a nearby park. The rest of the story still remains a mystery. There is evidence that the suspects might have managed to melt the coin down and sell pieces individually.
A police spokesman confirmed the nationality of the suspects. “The suspects arrested at two properties in the Neukölln district were members of an Arabic-Kurdish clan known to investigators in connection with drug smuggling, arms trading and racketeering”, reported the Guardian.
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