Jail for Germany's 'poker robbers' but no sign of the cash

1st July 2010, Comments 0 comments

A German court jailed Thursday four men who carried out a bungled raid on a high-stake poker tournament, but the whereabouts of their 242,000-euro (300,000-dollar) booty remains a mystery.

The court in Berlin jailed a 21-year-old to three years and nine months. Three others, aged 19 to 20, were sentenced to three and a half years.

They all refused to disclose the hiding place of their jackpot, of which only a few thousand euros has been recovered.

In the spectacular robbery in March, which some media likened to Hollywood blockbuster "Ocean's 11", the masked gang burst into a swanky hotel near Berlin's central Potsdamer Platz wielding machetes and handguns.

In chaotic scenes captured on television, they snatched bags of cash, struggled with security guards, one of whom managed to recover a bag, and sped away in a black Mercedes-Benz.

The four main suspects were detained within a few weeks.

The tournament, the German leg of the European Poker Tour, attracted around 950 participants including German tennis legend Boris Becker with 4.7 million euros in prize money up for grabs.

The game continued after the raid, with the one-million euro top prize eventually won by American online poker star Kevin "ImaLuckSac" MacPhee.

© 2010 AFP

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