Members of a prominent criminal syndicate based in Germany have confessed to playing a pivotal role in the robbery of the historic Green Vault.
The defendants, all members of the ‘Remmo crime family’, have been on trial since January. The six men face charges ranging from aggravated gang theft and serious arson.
The group is accused of committing a daring raid on the Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault) at Dresden’s Royal Palace in November of 2019. In total 21 pieces of jewellery from a collection dating to the 18th century were stolen.
Investigators believe a further 40 people may have played a role in the crime.
In a regional court in Dresden one of the defendants, Rabieh Remmo, has made admissions as part of a sentencing deal according to reporting from France24.
“My contribution to the crime was larger than I first said. I was, myself, in the rooms of the Green Vault,” he said.
“I didn’t keep the loot. I didn’t have access to it. I don’t know what happened to it. I did all I could to ensure that what was left came back to Dresden.”
The court heard that Remmo and his unnamed accomplice used an axe to smash a vitrine containing prized gemstones and jewellery.
The items were placed into a sack and the pair used a fire extinguisher to cover any DNA evidence that may have been inadvertently left at the scene.
Remmo and his co-conspirator then allegedly fled the scene with other accomplices, destroying a getaway car in a parking garage, before driving to Berlin in a vehicle disguised as a taxi.
Two other suspects on trial, Wissam and Mohamed Remmo, have also made admissions. In statements the pair deny entering the museum, instead declaring that they served as ‘lookouts’.
A fourth defendant is expected to present a statement shortly. A fifth suspect has rejected the plea deal, while the sixth denies any involvement in the theft.
The value of the items stolen was initially said to be approximately €1 billion ($AUD1.58 billion) however that figure has since been revised to €113 million ($AU178 million).
Included in the items stolen was the 49-carat Dresden White Diamond, among other diamonds, pearls, and rubies.
In December authorities announced the recovery of a ‘considerable portion’ of the items stolen; however, many important pieces remain missing including the Dresden White Diamond.
The court recently recommended jail sentences that ranged in time from four years and nine months to six years and nine months.
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