The main suspect in a gang linked with more than a dozen ATM bombings blew himself up while filming a video tutorial, police have said.
Dutch and German police announced nine arrests in connection with the gang, which ran illegal ‘training centres’ teaching people how to blow up cash machines to access the money inside.
ATM bombings have been described as a ‘growing concern’ for police in Europe, with attacks in Germany having resulted in an estimated €2.15 million in losses.
‘The criminals were making video tutorials which were given in person to other criminals. The main suspect, a 29-year-old, blew himself up when filming a tutorial video. His accomplice, a 24-year-old, was seriously injured and taken into custody.’ a Europol spokesperson said.
Police in Osnabruck, Germany first went on the trail of the gang more than 18 months ago, after identifying a series of ‘suspicious orders’ of ATMs that were eventually traced to the pair, who allegedly ran their training centre from Utrecht in the Netherlands.
‘The pair were ordering different models of ATMs and recording tutorials on how to most effectively blow them up,’ Europol said, per The Guardian. ‘The cash machines were blown open using homemade explosive devices, posing a serious risk for residents and bystanders.’
In total, nine arrests were made in the Netherlands over the course of the past year, with three suspects arrested earlier this week expected to be extradited to Germany to face trial for attempted murder in connection with an ATM bombing which saw one resident living in the flat above the machine injured and left two families needing to be rescued by the fire brigade, Dutch News reports.