On 17 May 2022 three people were arrested in the Netherlands in connection with a series of ATM explosive attacks in Germany. The arrests, which took place in Haarlem and Vianen, followed the arrests of 3 other members of the same criminal group on 30 March 2022 in Hessen, Germany.
This gang is believed to have targeted 8 ATMs in Germany between October and November 2021, stealing over €958,000 in cash. Typically these attacks took place in the early hours of the morning – to access the cash the gang blew open the ATMs with explosives. These explosions caused nearly €1 million in collateral damage to the buildings where the ATMs were located and the criminals showed reckless disregard for the safety of people in the vicinity of the attacks, or living nearby.
International Police Operation
The arrests were made by the Dutch Police (Politie Noord-Holland), working together with the German Police Directorate of Hochtaunus (Polizeidirektion Hochtaunus). Europol coordinated the operation (Op Pfeil/Pentagon), which was the culmination of many months of meticulous planning between the German and Dutch authorities. Europol brought together the national investigators, who have been working closely together with Europol’s Serious Organised Crime Centre, to establish a joint strategy to take down the criminal gang. On the action day a Europol mobile office was deployed to Haarlem to facilitate the extensive exchange of information and evidence, and to support with the analysis of the seized electronic devices.
In addition to the 6 members arrested so far, law enforcement is seeking to identify a seventh member of this gang. The German Prosecutor General’s Office Frankfurt am Main are urging members of the public with information to come forward. Anyone who has any knowledge of these fugitives’ whereabouts should get in touch with any information that can help to track down the fugitives.
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Cross Border Cooperation
The EAST Expert Group on ATM and ATS Physical Attacks (EGAP) is a cross-border European specialist expert forum for discussion of ATM, ATS and CIT related physical attack trends, attack methodologies and counter-measures, threat protection, and for the provision of regularly updated lists of manufacturers of ATM protective devices. The Group meets twice each year to enable in-depth and technical discussion to take place. The 17th EAST EGAP Meeting took place on 2nd March 2022. Information exchange linked to the prevention of ATM explosive attacks is a key focus of the Group.