Dutch crackdown on cross-border ATM bombing spree in Germany


Dutch authorities have recently begun a significant operation against an organised crime network responsible for numerous ATM explosions in Germany.

The ongoing investigation has led to 25 raids across the Netherlands, aiming to dismantle the group responsible for a widespread spate of ATM attacks across the border.

Earlier action was taken in February against the suspected group, whose activities caused significant damage. In Bavaria alone, the incidents involved 31 explosions, resulting in an estimated theft of about €3.4m, while causing damage costs approximated at €4m.

As part of the most recent operation, the Dutch police confiscated four kilos of prepared explosives, nine explosive packages, and a rapid vehicle, which was allegedly used to carry out the crimes. Additionally, authorities seized multiple phones, cash, tasers, gloves, crowbars, sledgehammers, navigation equipment, a digital radio scanner, and high-value items such as expensive watches and handbags.

The group is suspected of travelling from the Netherlands to the German states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg to carry out their criminal activities. The modus operandi involved using crowbars to gain entry and then deploying solid explosives to destroy the machines. The thieves would then loot the cash and flee the scene.

The crime group was meticulously organised, with a clear division of tasks ranging from preparing explosives, handling logistics, driving to the crime scene, or blowing up the ATMs. These sophisticated operations led to losses amounting up to €250,000 per attack.

In response to the initial wave of ATM explosive attacks in the Netherlands, Dutch authorities have shut down the ATM network overnight and relocated machines to more secure locations. This has forced the perpetrators to move across the border in search of more vulnerable targets.

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