In the case of a bizarre but successful heist of one of the world’s two largest gold coins, it appears that authorities are finally closing in on solving the crime.
The “Big Maple,” a 100-kilo, roughly $4 million pure gold coin the size of an automobile axle is one of the crowning achievements of the Royal Canadian Mint. The coin was on loan to a museum in Berlin. Somehow, in late March, the massive gold coin went missing overnight.
At the time of the heist, police had virtually no leads. The fact that days and weeks passed by without the case being solved made the likelihood of getting the coin back almost zero percent. Thieves going after such valuable novelty would not have found a willing buyer of the Big Maple coin on the black market. Their only option would have been to melt down the gold and resell it for its intrinsic value. (For reference, 100 kilos of gold is worth roughly $3.95 million at today’s spot price.
The coin has not yet been recovered, and thus likely never will be, but arrests have finally been made in the case—three and a half months later. There is some speculation by the authorities that a local jewelry store in Germany could have been involved or at least complicit in the commission of the crime.
According to reporting by the staff at CoinWeek,
“300 heavily-armed police commandos in balaclavas raided multiple apartments in the Berlin neighborhood of Neukölln. Paramedics were also present. Two men were arrested; at least one individual was escorted away in a hood or other garment covering his head to protect his identity.
‘We assume that the two suspects match the ones seen on the video footage from surveillance cameras,’ police spokesman Winfrid Wenzel told the Associated Press.
The alleged thieves are part of a large ‘Arabic-Kurdish’ family known to local authorities for its involvement in racketeering, drug smuggling and the arms trade.”
Coin World is consistently updating the story with more details, including surveillance video footage of the robbery.
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