Berlin (CNN)The trial has begun in Berlin of four men accused of stealing a huge, commemorative gold coin worth an estimated €3.75 million ($4.31 million) in an old-school heist.
Trial begins in Hollywood-style heist of giant coin worth $4 million
"Big Maple Leaf," which has a diameter of 21 inches, is thought to be the second-largest gold coin in the world, according to the AFP news agency.
The coin, which features a portrait of the UK's Queen Elizabeth II, was minted in 2007 by the Royal Canadian Mint.
At the time of the theft on March 27, 2017, the coin was part of an exhibition at the Berlin Bode Museum. The defendants broke in through a window, press spokeswoman Lisa Jani of the Berlin Regional Court, where the trial is taking place, told CNN.
Three co-defendants, Wissam R., Ahmed R. and Wayci R., are accused of breaking in using information passed on by another defendant, Dennis W., a former security guard at the museum, said Jani.
The thieves escaped with the 220-pound (100-kilo) coin through the broken window then hauled it over some nearby railway tracks, according to court documents.
Three of the defendants are part of the Remmo clan, one of a number of well-known crime families in Germany that experts say formed there following the arrival of Lebanese and Palestinian migrants from the late 1970s onwards.