Friday 15 December 2017

'Casino Royale cash plot' behind Dortmund bus bomb, say police

The damaged Borussia Dortmund bus Picture: AFP/Getty
The damaged Borussia Dortmund bus Picture: AFP/Getty

Justin Huggler

A man has been arrested in Germany on suspicion of bombing a Borussia Dortmund team bus in an elaborate financial scam reminiscent of the James Bond film 'Casino Royale'.

The 28-year-old dual German and Russian national, named only as Sergei W, is believed to have carried out the attack purely to make a profit by selling shares in the team.

He had bought options on Borussia Dortmund stock and hoped to make a profit as the share price fell in the wake of the attack, prosecutors said.

The plan is similar to the plot of 'Casino Royale', in which the villain Le Chiffre plots to make millions trading in the shares of an airline by blowing up its latest prototype.

Sergei W stood to make as much as €3.9m if key Borussia Dortmund players had been killed or critically injured, according to German press reports.

"The man appears to have wanted to commit murder out of greed," said Ralf Jager, the state interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Injured player Marc Bartra Picture: Getty
Injured player Marc Bartra Picture: Getty

Marc Bartra, the Spanish defender, was injured in the attack last week and had emergency surgery on his hand.

Prosecutors said more serious bloodshed was avoided because Sergei W had made an error in placing the explosives, which he detonated by remote control.

The attack took place as the players' bus left their Dortmund hotel for a Champions League match against AS Monaco.

Prosecutors told yesterday how Sergei W traded in Borussia Dortmund shares over the internet from the players' hotel, leaving a trail of evidence in the form of the hotel's IP address that would eventually lead police to him.

Hotel staff yesterday said Sergei W had behaved suspiciously after the attack, showing no shock and ordering a meal in the restaurant.

He had earlier demanded his room be changed to one facing the car park.

This was so he would have a clear view of the bus and could set off the explosives as it passed, the prosecutors believe.

On the day of the attack he had bought 15,000 put options - contracts giving him the right to sell Borussia Dortmund shares at a set price.

Put options were the device used to profit from terrorism in 'Casino Royale'.

Irish Independent

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