Dutch police arrest 3 over ATM bomb attacks

Agence France-Presse

Posted at May 19 2022 05:17 PM

An exterior view of the Europol headquarters EPA-EFE/file
An exterior view of the Europol headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands, on June 8, 2021. Jerry Lampen, EPA-EFE/file

Dutch police have arrested three people over a string of bomb attacks on cash machines in Germany that netted nearly one million euros ($1.05 million), the EU's policing agency said Thursday.

The three suspected members of a criminal gang that targets automated teller machines (ATMs) were arrested on Tuesday in the cities of Haarlem and Vianen in the Netherlands, Europol said.

Often using stolen vehicles and working in the dead of night, the gang used explosives to break into eight ATMs in Germany in October and November 2021 and steal the cash inside, Europol said in a statement.

"With the support of Europol, the Dutch Police, working together with the German Police... has arrested three suspected members of a criminal gang responsible for a string of robberies targeting ATMs in Germany," Europol said.

German police arrested three other suspects back in March 2020 and are hunting another fugitive.

The ATM raids in Hessen, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Lower Saxony and Rhineland Palatinate in Germany netted over 958,000 euros in cash, Europol said.

The blasts also caused nearly one million euros of damage "demonstrating no insight into the risk of harm, or even possibility of death, to those who lived nearby or who were near the machines at the time."

Dutch and German police said in September 2021 that they had busted a criminal gang that made video tutorials on the increasingly popular method of raiding ATMs.

One suspect was killed and another wounded when a trial run at a so-called training centre for the explosive attacks went wrong in the Dutch city of Utrecht.