Trial: Three men in court for blowing up ATMs

It was a great success last year when the police and public prosecutor's office in Osnabrück, together with Dutch law enforcement agencies, arrested three suspected members of an ATM blaster gang in the Netherlands.

Trial: Three men in court for blowing up ATMs

It was a great success last year when the police and public prosecutor's office in Osnabrück, together with Dutch law enforcement agencies, arrested three suspected members of an ATM blaster gang in the Netherlands. Now the men, aged 28, 29 and 36, are on trial in Osnabrück. The main hearing begins on Wednesday - seven further dates are scheduled by the end of September.

The men are accused of six automatic detonations between February and November 2020. The 36-year-old is said to have organized the crime vehicles, and the 29-year-old to have been responsible for procuring the explosives. The third accused is said to have organized the crimes in the background, among other things. In addition to a blast in Schüttorf (county of Bentheim), acts in Bavaria (Nittenau), Baden-Württemberg (Plochingen), Schleswig-Holstein (Elmshorn), Saxony-Anhalt (Zeitz) and North Rhine-Westphalia (Düsseldorf) also play a role in the indictment Role.

For a long time there has been an accumulation of ATM demolitions in many regions of Germany. According to the Federal Criminal Police Office, 268 cases were counted nationwide in 2020 in which perpetrators successfully caused an explosion. Compared to the previous year, this was an increase of almost 23 percent. In 2021, the Federal Criminal Police Office even registered 287 completed cases, with the total number of attempted and completed cases falling by a good five percent to 392 offences.

According to the State Criminal Police Office, 45 ATMs were blown up in Lower Saxony alone this year. There were more actions than in the previous year, but the comparison was difficult due to the travel restrictions in place last year due to the corona pandemic, said a spokeswoman.

As in the case before the Osnabrück district court, the majority of the suspects come from the Netherlands. In 2021, the police identified a total of 124 suspects nationwide (2020: 168), more than half of whom are Dutch nationals. The total loot increased by 14 percent to 19.5 million euros compared to the previous year. In many cases, the damage to property exceeds the amount of the loot.

Police experts point to the unscrupulousness of the perpetrators, who pay no attention to possible dangers, for example for local residents. The frequent use of solid explosives causes shrapnel and debris to fly uncontrollably.

The bank branch in Schüttorf caught fire as a result of the blast and the fire spread to the apartments on the upper floor. In addition to the material damage of several hundred thousand euros, the residents of the house were also traumatized after the crime.

Situation picture BKA ATM demolitions

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