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Home Dutch News Police arrest 13 over ATM attacks in Germany

Police arrest 13 over ATM attacks in Germany

Published on 29/06/2022
Published from AFP.com

Thirteen members of a Dutch gang that blew up bank machines in Germany have been arrested by police in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, Europol said Wednesday.

The arrests took place between March and June in four Dutch towns including Amsterdam, in the German town of Meckenheim and in Eupen, Belgium, which shares borders with both countries.

The Dutch gang has been linked to 21 attacks with explosives on ATMs between March 2021 and May 2022 in western and central Germany, stealing around 1.6 million euros and causing more than four million euros of damage in the process.

“Law enforcement is increasingly concerned about the increasingly heavier explosives that criminals are using to gain access to the cash machines’ content,” the European Union Agency for Police Cooperation (Europol), said in a statement.

Such explosions “are putting at risk the lives of local residents and bystanders: the surrounding buildings can collapse, or fragments of the explosion hit passers-by,” Europol added.

On top of that, some of the perpetrators fled the scene in powerful vehicles at speeds of up to 250 kilometres (155 miles) per hour “causing a serious risk to public safety”.

The final phase of the operation, on Tuesday, involved over 100 officers in the Netherlands and the German state of North Rhine Westphalia, which borders the Netherlands and Belgium, said Europol.

Such robberies with explosives have become more common in Germany in recent years.

Last month, Dutch police arrested three members of a gang responsible for a series of similar attacks, in which they stole a total of almost one million euros.

In September last year, Dutch and German police dismantled another gang that produced video tutorials on how to blow up ATMs, which they then sold to other robbers.