He was one of the most famous criminals in Germany – now he is said to have relapsed again. Reemtsma kidnapper Thomas Drach is accused of being involved in three money van robberies.

© picture-alliance/dpa/O. Berg
Drach is accused of involvement in the attack on this money transporter at Cologne / Bonn Airport in 2019

According to media information, the investigators had the convicted Reemtsma kidnapper in their sights for a long time. Thomas Drach is said to have been involved in three sensational robberies in Cologne and Frankfurt am Main. The arrest by the police, however, is said to have been less spectacular. According to information from “Spiegel”, Drach had himself arrested in Amsterdam without resistance and is to be brought before the judge. The “Bild” newspaper reports that the police are still looking for two accomplices.

For Drach there could be a return behind bars after eight years. If found guilty, he will likely spend the rest of his life there. After the kidnapping of the millionaire heir Jan Philipp Reemtsma in 1996 and later blackmailing of his brother from prison, he barely got past preventive detention.

Arrested after an undercover investigation

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Drach, a native of Erftstadt, brought the investigators on his trail during an attack at the nearby Cologne / Bonn airport. In March 2019, he and accomplices are said to have robbed a money transporter there. An eyewitness filmed the obviously highly professionally prepared coup. According to the public prosecutor’s office, after the partly covert investigation, Cologne investigators were able to trace the escape vehicle to the Netherlands.

In addition to the raid at the airport, the investigators also attribute an earlier, similar attack to the Ikea furniture store in Cologne-Godorf in March 2018 and a later one at an Ikea store in Frankfurt in November 2019. The amount of prey is unclear. According to the investigators, the fact that Drach is now supposed to have relapsed as a criminal could indicate that there is actually nothing left of the booty from the Reemtsma kidnapping.

© picture-alliance / dpa / Cologne police
After the attack at Cologne / Bonn Airport, this escape vehicle was set on fire

In March 1996, Drach and his accomplices kidnapped the Hamburg sociologist and heir of the tobacco dynasty, Jan Philipp Reemtsma, and released him again after 33 days. For 15 million Deutschmarks and 12.5 million Swiss francs ransom. Two years later, Drach was caught in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires and sentenced in Hamburg to fourteen and a half years in prison at the end of 2000. The 60-year-old had never said anything about the whereabouts of the ransom.

hf / ehl (dpa, afp)

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