Eurojust coordinates action in France, Germany and Austria
The Hague, 29 October 2019
Seven suspects have been arrested for the sale of large quantities of stolen gold as the result of an action, coordinated by Eurojust. The value of the stolen jewellery is estimated at EUR 1 million annually. The suspects were arrested for organised robbery, concealment and money laundering in simultaneous operations in three countries.
The French Gendarmerie commenced an investigation in 2017. A suspect was identified, traveling once or twice a month to Frankfurt to sell melted gold (originally stolen jewellery) to German accomplices, who were laundering the proceeds of the crimes.
Eurojust's assistance was requested by the investigative judge of the Court of Nantes, France, earlier this year to facilitate cooperation with the German and Austrian authorities. A coordination meeting was held at Eurojust last month with representatives of the three countries to prepare a strategy for the operation day. Europol provided analytical support to the operation.
Photo © Europol
During the simultaneous action, additional freezing orders were issued and executed in real time, several house searches were conducted and seven suspects arrested, two in Germany and one in Austria. In addition to the seven arrests, significant seizures were made, with an estimated value of close to EUR 3 million, including jewellery, real estate, cash, luxury cars and handguns.