Dutch police have arrested nine suspected members of a gang that stole millions of euros by blowing up cash dispenser machines in Germany, officials said Thursday.
The suspects are believed to be part of an organised crime gang behind 50 cross-border attacks that netted more than five million euros ($5.5 million).
Using explosives to carry out bank machines robberies have become increasingly common in Germany.
“The perpetrators allegedly travelled from the Netherlands to the German states of Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg to blast open teller machines,” the EU justice agency Eurojust said in a statement.
“They used crowbars to open the doors and solid explosives to destroy the machines. After stealing the cash inside, they escaped in cars,” it said.
The suspects, aged 25 to 41, were arrested in a series of raids on Monday in Dutch towns including Roermond, Echt, Utrecht, Amersfoort and Soesterberg after a “major joint investigation” with German police, Dutch police said.
A total of 15 raids were carried out in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, and Eurojust said four kilos (8.8 pounds) of explosives that had been prepared for use in further attacks were discovered and removed by bomb disposal experts.
German prosecutors said 34 attacks in Bavaria had been attributed to the gang, netting 3.4 million euros and causing more than four million euros in damage.
A further 17 attacks in Baden-Wurttemberg caused about 2.7 million euros in damage and resulted in 1.8 million euros stolen.
Germany has requested the extradition of the suspects.
In 2021, Dutch and German police dismantled another gang that produced video tutorials on how to blow up cash dispensers, which they then sold to other robbery gangs.