Two men have been arrested after breaking into the premises of the Royal Mint in Brussels and making off with bags of coins. A possible third man is being sought by police.
“Two men forced their way into the building on the Avenue Pacheco in the night of Thursday to Friday,” explained Denis Goeman, spokesperson for the Brussels prosecutor’s office.
“They made off with a number of money-bags filled with coins. The alarm was sounded immediately, and the police were soon able to arrest two suspects. They were still in possession of the stolen goods.”
The robbery was a break-in, and not an armed robbery, he said. Also, the break-in did not take place at the National Bank as previously reported.
The two men were questioned then released to appear in court on 5 March. “The suspects are not known to police for serious offences,” Goeman said.
Brussels police believe a third man was involved in the break-in.
“When our officers arrived on the scene, security guards told them they had seen someone fleeing,” a police spokesperson told the VRT. “The police searched the whole building and were able to apprehend two suspects in the act. But it is possible a third person was also involved. Whether he was able to take away a portion of the proceeds is not yet clear.”
The two men arrested were each found to be in possession of 5kg of coins in their backpacks.
“These were damaged coins which were being taken out of circulation, whose value is zero. The escaped suspect likely also had 5kg of coins with him,” said Francis Adyns of the federal finance ministry. Those are also likely to be worthless.