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Police have raided addresses across Berlin and made three arrests in relation to the Dresden Green Vault heist, which saw priceless historic jewellery stolen last year. Image credit: EPA
Police have raided addresses across Berlin and made three arrests in relation to the Dresden Green Vault heist, which saw priceless historic jewellery stolen last year. Image credit: EPA

Arrests made one year after Dresden Castle jewel heist

German police have detained three people from a Lebanese ‘crime family’ suspected of stealing priceless jewellery from a Dresden museum in 2019.

Approximately 1,600 police officers were involved in the 17 November raid of 18 apartments, garages and vehicles throughout Berlin’s southern Neukoelln district.

Reuters reports that the three detainees have not been named, but police have confirmed they are still looking for two men, Abdul Majed Remmo and Mohamed Remmo, who are also believed to be connected to the heist.

“Approximately 1,600 police officers were involved in the 17 November raid of 18 apartments, garages and vehicles throughout Berlin’s southern Neukoelln district”

In November last year thieves forced their way into Dresden’s Gruenes Gewoelbe, or Green Vault Museum, making off with more than 100 pieces of historic jewellery and precious stones including the 49-carat Dresden White Diamond.

Some media reports at the time valued the stolen pieces at €1 billion ($AUD1.6 billion), while Dr Roland Wöller, Saxony’s Minister of the Interior, called it "a bitter day for the historical heritage of Saxony" adding, “It is not the material value alone that is to be lamented here, but rather the historical significance for us, Saxony, which stands behind the stolen works of art.” 

The suspects reportedly set fire to a nearby electricity junction box to cut power to the museum before staging the break in. Despite the arrests, none of the stolen goods have been recovered.

Considered one of Europe’s greatest treasures, the contents of the Green Vault were assembled during the 18th Century by Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony and later King of Poland.

One of the Green Vault’s most famous pieces, the 41-carat Dresden Green Diamond, was on loan to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art when the break-in occurred.

The arrests connect the Green Vault heist to the same criminal family believed to be responsible for a similar theft three years ago.

On March 27, 2017, thieves broke into Berlin’s Bode Museum and escaped with a 100kg Canadian gold coin known as the ‘Big Maple Leaf’. It has never been recovered, with authorities suspecting it was quickly broken down and sold in parts.

Wissam Remmo, who has also been apprehended by police as a suspect in the Green Vault theft, was sentenced in January to four-and-a-half years in prison for his involvement in the coin theft. He is currently appealing his sentence.

 

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