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CRIME

Police arrest Berlin poker heist mastermind

Berlin police confirmed on Monday that they have arrested the suspected mastermind of the dramatic armed robbery at a poker tournament two weeks ago.

Police arrest Berlin poker heist mastermind
The getaway vehicle. Photo: DPA

According to daily Berliner Zeitung, the suspect is the 28-year-old uncle of one of the other suspects already in custody.

Investigators believe he helped plan the armed robbery and drove the getaway vehicle parked outside Berlin’s luxury Park Hyatt hotel where the tournament was underway.

The man, who is reportedly of Lebanese background, was arrested on Sunday evening.

Four masked men armed with machetes managed to swipe some €240,000 in buy-in money from the tournament on March 6. Police are still looking for the money.

The four robbers are in police custody after another two suspects were arrested on Saturday.

The arrests concluded a sweeping international search effort to track the suspects with names and photos. Police chief Dieter Glietsch said early on that he was certain the four thieves would be arrested quickly, but a full week passed before investigators achieved key breaks in the case.

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CRIME

German jailed for life in double police murder

A German man was given a life sentence on Wednesday for shooting dead two police officers to escape being caught for illegal game hunting during a routine traffic check.

German jailed for life in double police murder

The regional court in Kaiserslautern found 39-year-old Andreas Schmitt guilty of the killings in January this year, which sent shockwaves across Germany.

His co-defendant, referred to by the court as Florian V., was found guilty of abetting illegal poaching.

The 33-year-old was in the car with Schmitt when the officers discovered dead game in the boot, investigators said.

“We are all to this day horrified that a supposed routine control could turn into a fatal incident,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said in a statement after the verdict.

READ ALSO: German prosecutors say poaching led to double police murder

The victims were a 24-year-old woman police officer still in training and her colleague, a 29-year-old man.

The young woman was killed by a single shot to the head, while the man was shot four times, investigators said.

The officers were able to report that they were checking a suspicious vehicle and that shots were being fired before radio contact broke off.

When backup arrived, the woman was already dead and the man fatally injured. The perpetrators had fled the scene.

The crime in the Kusel district of Rhineland-Palatinate state triggered a major manhunt, with police deploying helicopters and sniffer dogs, sealing off roads and warning local residents not to pick up hitchhikers.

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