Suspect in ATM attacks blew himself up while filming tutorial, Europol says | Netherlands
Dutch and German police have dismantled a criminal gang involved in creating video tutorials on how to bomb cash machines after one of its members blew himself up in the process.
A suspect was killed and another seriously injured in the Dutch city of Utrecht when a trial went wrong at an illegal “training center” for bomb attacks on ATMs, Europol said.
Police eventually made nine arrests in an 18-month operation targeting the gang, which EU police said was linked to at least 15 ATM bombings in Germany, which resulted in losses of 2.15 million euros (1.5 million pounds sterling).
“The criminals were making video tutorials which were given in person to other criminals,” said a spokesperson for Europol. “The prime suspect, a 29-year-old man, blew himself up while filming a video tutorial. His accomplice, a 24-year-old, was seriously injured and taken into police custody. The explosion occurred in September 2020.
The police chase began after officers in Osnabruck, Germany identified “suspicious orders” for cash machines from a German company. Surveillance led police across the border to Utrecht, where the 29 and 24-year-old suspects reportedly ran the training center.
“The two men were ordering different models of ATMs and recording tutorials on how to blow them up most effectively,” Europol and its sister judicial agency Eurojust said in a joint statement. “The ATMs were blown up using homemade explosive devices, posing a serious risk to residents and passers-by. ”
Dutch police, with the help of Europol, on Tuesday arrested three people during searches in the vicinity of Utrecht, Amsterdam and The Hague, and seven properties were searched. These three suspects will be extradited to Germany. The other six people have been arrested in the Netherlands over the past year.
Europol said the ATM bombings were a “growing concern” in Europe.