Anyway, wimpy Britain and Canada are not even in the RACE when it comes to GOLD.
Gold producing superpower Australia could not bear to be outdone, and in 2012 the Perth Mint produced a 1 TONNE Gold Coin
(1,000 kilos) shown nearby, which in turn captured the Guinness World Records title of the world largest coin, knocking off the Canadians. “Melt” value of the bullion inside is a reported $A50 Million.
This giant “Coin” is 80cms wide and more than 12cms thick - near 5 inches for American readers. The reverse depicts a bounding red Kangaroo as you can see bordered by the inscription “AUSTRALIAN KANGAROO - 1 TONNE .9999 GOLD” and the issue year date of 2012.
Issued as legal tender under the Australian Currency Act 1965, the obverse of the coin portrays QE2, and the monetary denomination is “1 MILLION DOLLARS”. The coin has done some overseas roadshows to Asia and to Europe and the mind really boggles at what the insurance was on $50 million!
Alleged thieves now on trial.
The European media reported this month that the alleged Berlin thieves had been apprehended by German Police. The four men were accused of carrying out the spectacular heist of a giant solid gold coin from a Berlin Museum, have now gone on trial.
The men stand accused of stealing the 100kg “Big Maple Leaf” from the Bode Museum after using a ladder to enter a third-floor window, smashing the bulletproof cabinet in which the coin was on display, then transporting it in a wheelbarrow and skateboard to a nearby park, and abseiling with it to a getaway vehicle.
Three of the men on trial, identified only, as per the odd German practice as Wissam R, Ahmed R, and Wayci R, are members of a Berlin crime family. My research has revealed their surname is Remmo, and are from a Lebanese origin family, who have over 500 members living in Germany, with many ties to organised crime there, it is alleged
The fourth accused is a security guard identified as Denis W, and a classmate of the Remmo Brothers, who is accused of assisting the men, by providing them with “inside” information about the Museum which was vital to the plot. The men hid their faces behind magazines with holes cut out for their eyes, as they entered the court in Berlin, and during the hearings.
The massive “coin” is believed to have been broken up, and melted down shortly after the theft, and it is felt sure it will never be recovered. However if any of them are convicted, under German law, the value of the stolen item must be paid back to the rightful owner. OUCH.
Remmo family well known to German Police
Detectives revealed early on in the investigation that the Remmo family was part of a crime ring, well known to German Police, and whose members had carried out numerous high-profile crimes over several years, including break-ins, a bank robbery in which the bank building was blown up to hide evidence, and acts of violence in Berlin, including a murder in broad daylight.
Last summer Berlin investigators confiscated 77 properties valued at €9.3 million, which members of the Remmo family were believed to have purchased with the proceeds from various crimes. Shotguns and large amounts of cash were also reportedly seized in the raids, that involved 300 heavily armed Police.
The German Police seemed to have taken these raids very seriously, with all officers wearing balaclavas to protect their identities, and one photo nearby is from some of those officers taking part. Arrests were made. German Investigators later charged 16 of the Remmo clan with money laundering.
300 heavily armed German police in raids.
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. The Neukölln district in Berlin where they lived, has one of the highest immigrant populations in Berlin.
During the investigation into the coin robbery, prosecutors said that unknown persons had tried to destroy evidence in a vehicle believed to have been the getaway car, which had been confiscated after an illegal car rally. The culprits gained access to a police compound where the car was parked, and sprayed fire-extinguishing foam into its interior.
Modern technology assists the case.
However this attempt to hide or destroy evidence failed, after police found gold deposits on the car upholstery, of a purity that matched the stolen mega coin composition identically. DNA left behind at the Museum by the burglars, and CCTV footage of them, also is said to be held by the German Police.
The trial was expected to take about 12 days, amidst a huge media presence, before a chamber of Berlin’s regional court reserved for youth crimes. Due to the ages of the three of the men, between 18 to 20 - when they allegedly carried out the heist. The men are not in detention, which seemed odd to me at least. If found guilty, they could face up to 10 years in jail. The verdict is expected to be handed down on 28 March.