Berlin, April 01: German prosecutors have arrested six people on suspicion that they masterminded a move that saw discarded euro coins brought back into circulation in Germany. The suspects tried to cash the re-minted coins at Germany’s central bank. Prosecutors suspect that the coins were reassembled in China where European Union officials had earlier discarded the coins as scrap.
The suspects were expecting to net about euro 6 million from the coins. The prosecutors say 29 tons of 1- and 2-euro coins that had been discarded were brought back into Germany between 2007 and 2010. The coins were sold as scrap metal in China but prosecutors suspect that four flight attendants aided in getting the coins back in Germany.
German officials confirmed that the six suspects were all in custody adding that four of them are Chinese immigrants. None of the suspect though is from the German central bank, Bundesbank.
Frankfurt prosecutor Doris Moeller-Scheu who made the announcement on Thursday said the suspects were rounded up on Wednesday. They have not yet been charged but investigators are considering charges of fraud and bringing counterfeit money into circulation.
Investigation into the incident continues.