With a control campaign in seven federal states, the police took action against the demolition of ATMs. For three days, the Hessian Ministry of the Interior announced on Friday in Wiesbaden that the machines were being monitored more closely and national travel routes were being checked to increase pressure on the internationally active groups of criminals.

More than 2,500 police officers checked around 8,000 people and more than 5,300 vehicles from March 14th to 17th. Internationally active Sprenger gangs should be made as difficult as possible in Germany, said the Ministry of the Interior. The common goal was “to prevent potential perpetrator groups from carrying out a crime through a strong police presence and targeted open and covert measures”. According to the information, the police in Hesse, Baden-W├╝rttemberg, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and Schleswig-Holstein as well as the Federal Criminal Police Office and the Federal Police were involved.

42 people were provisionally arrested. The extent to which there is a connection to ATM blasts in individual cases is being further investigated. During the investigations and controls, other alleged criminal offenses were also cleared up, including violations of the Narcotics Act, which led to 22 of the provisional arrests. A total of more than 180 criminal offenses and 360 administrative offenses were registered.

In 2022, 496 ATM blasts were registered nationwide, more than ever before, the increase was 27 percent compared to the previous year, according to the Federal Ministry of the Interior. In some cases, up to five ATMs were blown up in one night.