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Dutch gangs target Germany for blowing up cash machines

In World
April 20, 2024

Dutch gangs targeting cash machines with explosives have shifted their focus to Germany, police reported in The Hague on Saturday.

Last year, the gangs struck eight cash machines in the Netherlands, by contrast with the 367 hit across the border in Germany, the report said. It added that 137 Dutch nationals had been arrested over the course of the year for blowing up cash machines in Germany.

“It’s become an export product,” a police spokesman said, adding that the gangs had hit cash machines in Switzerland, Austria and Belgium as well.

Measures taken in the Netherlands to prevent these attacks have been relatively successful. The bank notes stolen in this way are rendered useless as they stick together automatically after an explosion. The number of cash machines in the Netherlands is also much lower, as cashless payment is much more common.

Police in the two countries are cooperating increasingly closely, and hits on German cash machines by the Dutch gangs have fallen from a peak of 442 in 2022. Over the first quarter of this year, the gangs hit 56 cash machines in Germany, a figure well down on last year’s.

Sixteen Dutch nationals are to go on trial in Bamberg in northern Bavaria next week on charges of blowing up some 90 German cash machines and stealing around €7 million ($7.5 million).

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