A defendant covers his face when arriving at the court in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019 for the first day of the trial over the brazen theft of a 100-kilogram (221-pound) Canadian gold coin from a Berlin museum. (Paul Zinken/dpa via AP)

Four men on trial over theft of huge Canadian gold coin from Berlin museum

They are suspected of later cutting up the coin, valued at about $5.3 million, and selling the pieces

Four young men went on trial in Germany on Thursday over the brazen theft of a 100-kilogram Canadian gold coin that disappeared from a Berlin museum two years ago.

Two brothers and their cousin, identified in German media as 24-year-old Wayci Remmo, 20-year-old Ahmed Remmo and 22-year-old Wissam Remmo, are accused of stealing the “Big Maple Leaf” coin from the Bode Museum in March 2017.

READ MORE: Mint to make special toonies to mark D-Day anniversary

The fourth suspect, identified only as 20-year-old Dennis W., worked as a security guard at the museum, which is located in the heart of the German capital. He is accused of scouting out the scene of the crime.

The opening of the trial at Berlin’s district court drew intense media interest in Germany because of the Hollywood-style nature of the heist and their families’ alleged ties to organized crime.

Prosecutors believe that the Remmos smashed a protective case and then managed to lift the coin out of a museum window before fleeing along a rail track with their haul in a wheelbarrow. They are suspected of later cutting up the coin, valued at about $5.3 million, and selling the pieces.

READ MORE: New silver collector coin features Indigenous dancer

The men’s lawyers have denied the accusations levelled against their clients and accused prosecutors of presenting no evidence linking them to the theft.

If convicted, the men could face up to 10 years in prison for serious theft, though the three youngest defendants may be sentenced as juveniles because they were under 21 at the time of the crime.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Paramedics union raises alarm over spike in out-of-service ambulances

Staffing shortages affecting service levels in Kootenays

Mueller finds no Trump collusion, leaves obstruction open

But while Mueller fully ruled out criminal collusion, he was more circumspect on presidential obstruction of justice

Video service to compete with Netflix, Amazon expected from Apple on Monday

The iPhone has long been Apple’s marquee product and main money maker, but sales are starting to decline

Kootenay city councillor starts nationwide climate caucus for municipal politicians

Climate Leadership Caucus has 57 members including seven mayors

Edmonton judge to rule on whether Omar Khadr’s sentence has expired

Canada’s top court ruled punishment handed Khadr for alleged acts committed in Afghanistan when he was 15 was to be a youth sentence

Trudeau delivers campaign-style speech while introducing candidate Taggart

The Order of British Columbia recipient said she wants to be the people’s voice in Ottawa

Stolen Bentley spotted going wrong way down highway found in Summerland

The car has been recorded going the wrong way on the Coquihalla, found two days later

15 Canadians on cruise ship that was stranded off Norway; one injured

The cruise ship was carrying 1,373 passengers and crew when it issued a mayday call on Saturday afternoon

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Most Read