Was it this attack that made the Reemtsma kidnapping possible?
As the “Welt am Sonntag” reports, Thomas Drach (60) is said to have achieved a huge coup many years before the raids in Cologne and Frankfurt in 2018 and 2019, stealing around 1.5 million marks (767,000 euros).
According to this, the Braunschweig public prosecutor’s office had been investigating the Reemtsma kidnapper for a robbery on a money transporter in 1995. The problem: It had to be discontinued due to the statute of limitations.
A prosecutor’s spokesman confirmed the report. Drach, who is in extradition custody in Amsterdam for three robberies, with an accomplice in the process of stealing the millions. Witnesses are said to have stated that Drach bragged about the attack and suddenly had a lot of money.
The spokesman: “If you take all the evidence together, from our point of view, participation is likely.” The procedure with heavy weapons in Braunschweig was also similar to later attacks.
The public prosecutor’s office filed charges in October 2020 because of the impending statute of limitations of 20 years. Since, apart from the testimony of witnesses, there were only circumstantial evidence, the Braunschweig Regional Court refused to open main proceedings. “From today’s perspective, there is a lot to be said for it, but it does not change anything from a formal legal perspective,” said the spokesman. “We can no longer follow this.”
The accomplice in the Braunschweig deed is said to have been the Australian Lionel D., who went to his home country with his share of the booty and was never harassed for the act.
The attack could have served to raise money for the planned kidnapping of Jan Philipp Reemtsma (68). In March 1996, the Hamburg heir to the tobacco dynasty was kidnapped, and Drach and accomplices made millions. He was caught two years later and released in the fall of 2013 after a long prison term.
► Drach is in extradition custody in Amsterdam. A judge had extended the detention on Friday again. Contrary to expectations, the court had not yet dealt with the extradition request from the Cologne judiciary. The 60-year-old was arrested in the Dutch capital on Tuesday.
The Cologne judiciary suspects him to have been involved in three robberies in Cologne and Frankfurt / Main in 2018 and 2019. A security guard was seriously injured in a robbery. The investigators had found Drach via an escape vehicle. That was allowed in the Netherlands. There is still a search for possible accomplices.