German authorities, together with Dutch and Belgian counterparts, have arrested thirteen members of a Dutch gang linked to 21 ATM explosive attacks against cash machines in Germany. The gang stole over €1.6 million as a result of the attacks, and collateral damage to equipment and buildings was in excess of €4 million.
The arrests took place on 28 June with over 100 Police officers involved in Germany (North Rhine Westphalia) and the Netherlands.
- 8 arrests were made in the Netherlands
- 3 arrests were made in Germany
- 2 arrests were made in Belgium
These arrests follow another successful police operation in May 2022.
Europol’s European Serious Organised Crime Centre supported the investigation from the onset by bringing together the national investigators from Germany and the Netherlands to establish a joint strategy and to organise the intensive exchange of evidence needed to prepare for final phase of the investigation.
Threat To Life
Law enforcement is increasingly concerned about the heavier explosives that criminals are using to gain access to the ATM safes. The explosions are putting the lives of local residents and bystanders at risk: the surrounding buildings can collapse, or fragments of the explosion can hit passers-by.
In some cases, the perpetrators escape the crime scene in powerful motorised vehicles at speeds of up to 250 km/h, causing a serious risk to public safety.
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.