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Wed Nov 23, 2022, 09:31 AM

Official: Organized crime likely behind Celtic gold heist

Source: AP

2 hours ago

BERLIN (AP) — A senior official in southern Germany said Wednesday that organized crime groups were likely behind the theft of a huge horde of ancient gold coins stolen from a museum this week.

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

“It’s clear that you don’t simply march into a museum and take this treasure with you,” Bavaria’s minister of science and arts, Markus Blume, told public broadcaster BR. “It’s highly secured and as such there’s a suspicion that we’re rather dealing with a case of organized crime.”

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



FILE -- Coins of the Celtic Treasure are on display at the local Celtic and Roman Museum in Manching, Germany, May 31, 2006. A senior official said Wednesday that organized crime groups were likely behind the theft of a huge horde of ancient gold coins stolen from a museum in southern Germany this week. (Frank Maechler/dpa via AP, file)


Read more: https://apnews.com/article/travel-europe-germany-e6bb0cdbd6f161fb3212c0fb1171a34a?utm_source=Connatix&utm_medium=HomePage



The theft story is here: https://apnews.com/article/europe-germany-munich-3df895007322d5feed2dec8563a51d90

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Reply Official: Organized crime likely behind Celtic gold heist (Original post)
Omaha Steve Nov 23 OP
Wicked Blue Nov 23 #1
Lulu KC Nov 23 #5
Javaman Nov 23 #9
Wicked Blue Nov 23 #11
Javaman Nov 23 #12
JohnnyRingo Nov 23 #2
Irish_Dem Nov 23 #3
JohnnyRingo Nov 23 #4
Irish_Dem Nov 23 #6
moniss Nov 23 #7
LiberalFighter Nov 23 #8
SouthernDem4ever Nov 23 #10
RestoreAmerica2020 Nov 23 #13
DFW Nov 23 #15
DFW Nov 23 #14

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Nov 23, 2022, 09:59 AM

1. AP is slipping. It's hoard, not horde nt

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Response to Wicked Blue (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 23, 2022, 10:32 AM

5. Yes

Right here with you.

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Response to Wicked Blue (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 23, 2022, 11:22 AM

9. it could have been a horde of bandits LOL nt

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Response to Javaman (Reply #9)

Wed Nov 23, 2022, 12:02 PM

11. The Golden Horde?

Wikipedia:

The Golden Horde, self-designated as Ulug Ulus, lit. 'Great State' in Turkic,[8] was originally a Mongol and later Turkicized khanate established in the 13th century and originating as the northwestern sector of the Mongol Empire.

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Response to Wicked Blue (Reply #11)

Wed Nov 23, 2022, 12:14 PM

12. oh good one! I'm angry at myself for missing that one! LOL :) nt

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Nov 23, 2022, 10:01 AM

2. They can't fence such rare relics.

That means they're probably already melted into ingots and will be worn in chains by a rap star one day.

Losing ancient history for a few shekels of gold. Have they so shame?

They're worth a couple hundred thousand as solid gold, but much more as a ransom. That clearly didn't happen.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 23, 2022, 10:23 AM

3. Billionaire secret collectors like such relics.

To add to their collection (mostly illegally obtained.)

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 23, 2022, 10:31 AM

4. I imagine you're right.

I'm sure some great art hangs the in the halls of palatial manses everywhere, but the value of something they can't even display or resell would have a diminished value. It's possible someone put it on a list of things they wanted.

But it's like owning a stolen Honus Wagner baseball card. What would you do with it?

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 23, 2022, 10:41 AM

6. The illicit nature of the acquisition is part of the the thrill.

Also, keeping a collection secret probably is not all that uncommon.

Often when a relative dies, the family finds all kinds of things squirreled away by the deceased.

Then there are more extreme cases. Serial killers keep hidden trophies for example.
And hoarders will accumulate a huge amount of possessions that they will never even look at or use.

Or think of Trump stealing highly classified documents. Some he stole just for the thrill of it.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Nov 23, 2022, 10:58 AM

7. It may have been

a "contract" job where a specific "un-named" person of wealth wants this collection and arranges for payment for the job. That would make more sense than some group just stealing this and then trying to figure out "bids" and how, when and where to physically move something like this.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Nov 23, 2022, 11:00 AM

8. Eric Trump is probably their mob boss.

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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #8)

Wed Nov 23, 2022, 11:43 AM

10. If that were the case they probably would have been caught

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Nov 23, 2022, 12:37 PM

13. Fascinating heist! Current value, approx. 1.6 Euros ($1.65M)

Excerpt from link

Gebhard estimated the value of the treasure at about 1.6 million euros ($1.65 million).

“The archaeologists hope that the coins remain in their original state and reappear again at some point,” he said, adding that they are well documented and would be hard to sell.

“The worst option, the melting down, would mean a total loss for us,” he said, noting that the material value of the gold itself would only run to about 250,000 euros at current market prices.

Gebhard said the size of the trove suggested it might have been “the war chest of a tribal chief.” It was found inside a sack buried beneath building foundations, and was the biggest such discovery made during regular archaeological excavations in Germany in the 20th century.

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Response to RestoreAmerica2020 (Reply #13)

Wed Nov 23, 2022, 01:51 PM

15. Unfortunately, that's estimated collector value.

Melted down, it's just a small pile of scrap gold, worth a fraction of the value of the coins as historical objects, and once destroyed, the history behind them is also lost forever, not recoverable for any price.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Nov 23, 2022, 01:48 PM

14. This is a tragedy

Since the coins were well documented by the museum, they will be extremely difficult to fence. Celtic gold is a niche area of coin collecting, as a fair amount of historical knowledge is needed to even appreciate the history behind them. What scares many people in the field now is that the gold may be melted down for its bullion value, which may amount to a couple hundred thousand Euros, but nowhere near what they are worth as historical artifacts. On the other hand, there aren't 400 plus collectors of these things knowledgeable enough to pay what a few of them would bring if offered on the market as rarities. But 483 of the same coin at once is no longer a rarity. Their market value would fall due over-saturation compared with the potential demand. The ease with which people familiar with these coins would recognize the hoard coins would be a further deterrent to offering them around for what they are. The word is out in all the newspapers and TV news here. The danger that they could me melted down is, sadly, great.


What is probably correct is that organized crime was involved. The perfect timing and the high tech skill needed to pull this off is not something your average street thug is capable of. German (and European in general) law enforcement has been reluctant to seriously pursue gangs capable of this kind of heist. They are armed, often contain Eastern European or Middle Eastern ex-military, and shoot back. Instead, the EU prefers to institute useless and cumbersome measures controlling (ever more tightly) the amount of cash or gold that can be traded by the general public without a mountain of paperwork. They claim their restrictions are "combating money laundering (they do no such thing)," and give them an excuse to let gangs like the one that pulled off the museum heist do as they please. Today, in Germany, you can't even go into your own bank and ask for change of a €100 bill without giving a copy of your ID and your personal bank account number. This is combating money laundering, they say. If they really want to combat money laundering, they should investigate the numbers of taxi companies, video game parlors, and pizzerias that turn in €400,000 every week in small (€5, €10, €20 and €50) bills to their banks, fully declared, saying business is great, even if the places haven't seen a customer all week (I have a friend in the German BKA, their FBI). It's all drug money, of course, but the drug gangs are better armed than the cops here--just like the gangs that break into museums. The cops, with no support from their governments, are understandably reluctant to go up against better-armed and better-trained opponents. It is much safer to demand a sheaf of documents from some 60 year old guy wanting to buy 4 golden pieces of jewelry for his family for Christmas because they cost €2050, and he wanted to pay cash.

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