Investigators from the Netherlands and Germany took action on Tuesday in a major raid against ATM blasters. Forces from the Düsseldorf public prosecutor's office, the Federal Criminal Police Office and the Dutch police searched nine apartments in Amsterdam, Helmond and Utrecht since the morning hours; five suspects were arrested.

Reiner Burger

Political correspondent in North Rhine-Westphalia.

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According to investigators' findings, the Dutch-Moroccan nationals between the ages of 23 and 38 were involved in ATM explosions in Germany in various capacities between May 2021 and the end of August 2022. In total, there are 22 explosive attacks in North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse and Saarland, in which more than one million euros in cash were captured and property damage of more than two million euros was caused.

NRW submits extradition request

According to investigators, gangs from the Netherlands such as the one that has now been uncovered are behind a large number of the crimes in Germany. The large-scale operation was preceded by cross-border investigations in intensive cooperation with the International Legal Aid Centre (IRC) of the police and the public prosecutor's office in Arnhem. The five arrested men were brought before the Dutch magistrate, who also has to decide on the extradition requests made by the Central and Contact Point for the Prosecution of Organised Crimes in North Rhine-Westphalia (ZeOS NRW).

In North Rhine-Westphalia alone, there were 2022 explosive attacks on ATMs in 182. The number of crimes remains at a high level despite years of intensive investigative work. Most recently, unknown persons blew up an ATM in Ratingen in the district of Mettmann on Tuesday night. The search by helicopter for the getaway vehicle has so far been unsuccessful.