Police have seized 77 properties from a notorious Lebanese criminal family living in Berlin as they are investigated over the theft of a £3.3million gold coin.
Officers provisionally seized apartments, houses and land across the city worth a total of £9million from the Remmo family on Thursday, accusing members of making the purchases with ill-gotten gains.
Investigators also charged 16 of the clan with money laundering, according to Sachsische Zeitung.
German police have seized 77 properties from a Lebanese family living in Berlin who are accused of stealing a solid gold coin worth £3.3million from the Bode Museum last year
Officers raided properties around the city belonging to the Remmo clan on Thursday, as well as charging 16 members of the family with money laundering
Cars were also raided by officers which have been investigating the family since 2014 when they were involved in a bank heist in which £8million in valuables were taken
It comes a year after police arrested three family members on suspicion of stealing The Big Maple Leaf coin from Bode Museum, in Berlin, in March 2017.
A museum security guard has also been arrested on suspicion of helping them.
The gold coin, which was the largest in the world when it was minted in 2007, has never been found and officers believe it has been melted down and sold.
As well as being the largest ever made, the coin was also notable for its extraordinary purity – 999.99 parts out of 1000 being gold.
Museum officials say the burglars broke into the building from a set of railway tracks at the rear, climbing in through a window using a ladder.
The men then managed to dodge security systems after allegedly being fed insider knowledge by a guard, before making their way to the Münzkabinett collection, where the coin was stored.
Once there, they smashed their way into the bullet-proof glass case with an axe before loading the coin into a wheelbarrow and carting it away.
The wheelbarrow, the axe, and a ladder were left behind after the raid.
The Remmo family has a long criminal history in Germany which includes violent crimes, robbery, coercion, theft and drug trafficking
Ahmed, Abdul, and Wissam Remmo have also been arrested and accused of stealing the coin in a daring late-night heist (CCTV from the theft)
In July last year police arrested Ahmed, Abdul, and Wissam Remmo, then aged 18, 18, and 20, and they have since been charged with the theft.
A museum guard named only as Dennis W., 19, has also been arrested.
The Remmo family have a long criminal history and are linked to at least one other major heist in Berlin.
In 2014, burglars broke into a bank in the suburb of Mariendorf and made off with £8million of valuables after smashing open 100 safety deposit boxes.
Toufic Remmo, 33, was jailed for eight years over the robbery in 2015 after officers found his DNA at the crime scene.
There are thought to be around 500 members of the Remmo family in Berlin, after the first relatives arrived during the Lebanese civil war in the 1980s.
Between 10 and 50 per cent of family members are believed to be involved in organised crime, according to RBB 24.
Investigators also believe some of the Remmo clan’s wealth was sent abroad and may have been filtered through to other Berlin crime families.
However, they refused to disclose more details for fear of compromising the probe.
WHAT WAS ‘THE BIG MAPLE LEAF’?
In 2007 the Royal Canadian Mint produced the world’s largest ever gold coin, which was then worth £1million, to promote a line of much-smaller gold coins that it had just begun selling.
Like all newly minted Canadian coins, it featured an image of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth on the rear, as Canada’s head of state.
But after several interested buyers came forward for the larger version, the mint decided to make four more coins to sell.
One was bought by Queen Elizabeth herself, two more went to Saudi Arabia, one stayed in Canada and the fifth was sold to German businessman Boris Fuchsmann.
In 2010 Fuchsmann loaned the coin to the Bode Museum, in Berlin, and it went on show in December.
The coin remained there until it was stolen in the early hours of March 27, 2017, and has not been seen since.