Berlin - Following a large-scale raid early Tuesday morning, police have arrested three men in connection with last year's spectacular Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault) museum heist in Dresden. All three men are in their twenties and are believed to be members of Berlin's infamous Remmo crime family.

The suspects were taken to Dresden where they were to appear before a judge later on Tuesday, Dresden state prosecutors said. Dresden officials plan on charging the suspects with organised crime, theft and arson.

Police say there is still an arrest warrant out for two other suspects: twin brothers Abdul Majed Remmo and Mohamed Remmo. Any Berlin police station will accept tip-offs about their whereabouts.

Photo: Polizei
Twin brothers Abdul Majed Remmo and Mohamed Remmo (both 21) appear to be on the run.

A total of 1,638 officers were involved in Tuesday morning's operations. Police units from Dresden, Berlin and other parts of Germany raided 18 locations in Kreuzberg, Neukölln and Wedding starting at 6am, including an apartment in Gitschiner Straße in Kreuzberg, a police spokesperson told Berliner Zeitung. 

The Grünes Gewölbe heist was one of the most spectacular in recent German history. At around 5am on 25 November 2019, it's thought at least two men set fire to an electricity box near the museum in order to disable its alarm system.

They then broke into the building, smashed a display case with an axe and made off with three sets of early 18th century royal jewellery. The haul – 37 items featuring diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires – is considered so valuable, it's impossible to assign a value.

Photos: Jürgen Karpinski/Grünes Gewölbe
The booty.

The operations were also focused on "the search for stolen art treasures and possible evidence, such as electronic devices, clothing and tools," police said.

In September, investigators searched several Berlin car repair shops on behalf of the Dresden prosecutor's office. The companies are thought to have covered the perpetrators' car - which was used as a getaway vehicle and later set on fire - with plastic film to camouflage it as a taxi.

This article was adapted from the original German for Berliner Zeitung English Edition by Maurice Frank