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Accidentally stolen bodies return to Germany

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Accidentally stolen bodies return to Germany
Photo: DPA
10:01 CET+01:00
Ten of twelve corpses which were accidentally stolen by unsuspecting van thieves who took them to Poland three weeks ago, have been returned to Germany and cremated, ending a tense wait for families.

The bodies finally arrived at their original destination, a crematorium in Meissen, Saxony, early on Tuesday morning and were cremated after being inspected by a forensic pathologist and public health officer.

Two more bodies are due to be transported to Berlin or Brandenburg, according to Jörg Schaldach, who runs the crematorium facility.

So ends the uncertain wait for relatives of the deceased, which began when the van containing twelve corpses destined for the crematorium was stolen on October 15th from an industrial estate in Hoppegarten near Berlin.

Following indications that the thieves had driven over the border, an extensive search by Polish police uncovered the corpses a week later in a forest in Konin, Poland and they were taken to the institute of forensic pathology in Poznan.

Formalities were tied up when a member of the Frankfurt public prosecutor's office travelled to Poznan on Friday to deliver death certificates and other documents needed to release the bodies for their return journey to Germany.

Brandenburg's state premier Mattias Platzeck is now considering how to improve cooperation with neighbouring countries in cases such as this, the Tagesspiegel newspaper said on Tuesday.

"I am aware that the days of waiting for the relatives of the dead were hard to bear," Platzeck told the paper.

Polish police have arrested three people in connection with the theft and are currently searching for one further suspect.

DAPD/The Local/jlb

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