SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

Car and mobile phone of kidnapped banker’s wife found

Police said the black Mercedes A-Class car and mobile phone belonging to the wife of a senior banker kidnapped this week have been found, as the search for 54-year-old Maria Bögerl continued Saturday.

Car and mobile phone of kidnapped banker’s wife found
Photo: DPA

Bögerl was being held to ransom of several hundred thousand euros. She is the wife of Thomas Bögerl, Sparkasse banking chief in the Heidenheim region of Baden-Wüttemberg.

Bögerl’s parked car was spotted Friday evening about 20 kilometers away at the Neresheim Abbey. Police said the car is being examined by forensics and confirmed that the phone found Wednesday afternoon belonged to Maria Bögerl.

“The longer it takes, the more critical this situation becomes,” a police spokesman told mass circulation daily Bild.

More than 400 police officers were still combing through the woodland area near the A7 motorway on Saturday. Three helicopter equipped with infrared cameras, as well as sniffer dogs, were also dispatched for the search.

“I hope very much that this distressing uncertainty will end soon and that Mrs. Bögerl will return to her family unharmed,” said Heidenheim Mayor Bernhard Ilg.

Bild reported that Thomas Bögerl spoke with his wife by phone and she told him the kidnapper or kidnappers were threatening to kill her. Less than an hour after Bögerl was snatched, her husband received a call from a kidnapper. He was ordered to leave the ransom money on the A7 motorway near Heidenheim, marked with a German flag.

He followed the orders but the money – reportedly several hundred thousand euros – was not collected.

“Despite all the demands being fulfilled, there was no handover,” an investigator told Bild.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

GERMANY AND ISRAEL

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.

SHOW COMMENTS