Police in Berlin have arrested one of Europe’s most wanted fugitives: a key suspect linked to the infamous jewel heist at the Green Vault museum in Dresden Castle in November 2019.
Investigators from the Federal Criminal Office and the Berlin State Criminal Police Office picked up the 21-year-old in Berlin’s Neukölln neighborhood last night, December 14.
The suspect, identified only as Mohammed R. because of privacy laws regarding ongoing criminal proceedings in Germany, was arrested at 7:21 p.m. on suspicion of “serious gang theft and arson,” according to the Dresden public prosecutor’s office. He will be brought before an investigating judge in Dresden today.
Police have been searching for him and his twin brother, Abdul Majed Remmo, since November, after they evaded capture in a series of raids that led to three arrests. Abdul Majed Remmo is still on the lam, and prosecutors say they are “urgently” searching for him.
The four men who have so far been arrested are all reportedly members of the same extended family gang. The Remmo clan is one of Germany’s most notorious organized crime families, and has been implicated in a series of high-profile crimes, including the theft of a $5 million commemorative gold coin from Berlin’s Bode Museum in 2017, and a $12 million bank heist in 2014.
The Green Vault museum is famous for containing one of Europe’s largest treasure collections, founded in 1723 by Augustus the Strong, elector of Saxony and King of Poland.
On November 25, 2019, a group broke into the museum through a small window, unseen due to a power cut caused by a fire they may have started. Inside, the thieves smashed open a display case with an axe and grabbed a collection of rare jewels, including 18th-century rare-cut diamonds and rubies. They took off in a getaway car, which they later torched before escaping in another vehicle.
Although there is no estimate for how much the stolen jewels are worth, the museum’s director said they were “priceless.”
The Green Vault’s most prized object, the 41-carat “Green Diamond” was, by chance, on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.