Organised crime ‘likely behind Celtic gold heist’

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Organised Crime ‘Likely Behind Celtic Gold Heist’ Organised Crime ‘Likely Behind Celtic Gold Heist’
Celtic gold coins, © AP/Press Association Images
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By AP Reporters

Organised crime groups were likely behind the theft of a huge hoard of ancient gold coins from a museum in southern Germany this week, officials have said.

The 483 coins were discovered in 1999 during excavations of an ancient settlement near the present-day town of Manching in Bavaria, and were on display at the local Celtic and Roman Museum.

Bavaria’s minister of science and arts, Markus Blume, told public broadcaster BR: “It’s clear that you don’t simply march into a museum and take this treasure with you.

“It’s highly secured and as such there’s a suspicion that we’re rather dealing with a case of organised crime.”


The Celtic-Roman Museum (dpa via AP)

Mr Blume said that all of the museum’s security systems, along with Manching’s entire telephone network, had been disabled during the heist.

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German news agency dpa reported that in addition to the 483 coins, dating back to around 100BC, three other items were stolen from a second display cabinet.

Authorities fear the treasure, worth millions of euro, could be melted down, meaning the bowl-shaped coins would be lost to science.

Police and prosecutors planned to hold a news conference in Manching on Wednesday afternoon.

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