A Lebanese family in Germany is accused of stealing a giant gold coin from a Berlin museum worth about $4.3 million, prosecutors said.
Authorities seized 77 properties owned by members of the unidentified Lebanese family suspected of “mafia-style” crimes. The properties included homes, apartment blocks and garden allotments.
Prosecutors said they recovered about $11.7 million worth of property, but were unable to locate the gold coin.
The coin, known as the Canadian “Big Maple Leaf,” belonged to Berlin’s Bode Museum. It was made of pure 24-carat gold, worth about $4.3 million, despite its lower face value.
Prosecutors believe the coin was stolen in March 2017.
Authorities said they are now investigating 16 members of the Lebanese family involved in an organized crime ring. No one has been arrested or charged yet.
“The difficult thing with these family structures is that you need leads.” Berlin chief state prosecutor Jörg Raupach told DW. “There’s a crime, money is missing, where has it gone? Working out where that money went is a tough task, but sometimes, as in this case, it leads to a partial success.”
Some gold price experts fear the gold may have been melted down and sold.