German bank robberies: eighth detained in Latvia

Latvian police detained a group accused of bank robberies in Germany.

Police would not disclose the identity of the man, age 31, but said they believed he was part of a large ring of bank robbers that included seven men arrested last year who are suspected of robbing 14 banks from 2001-03 in the German state of Lower Saxony, allegedly netting the group more than Ђ500,000 (US$619,000).

The man was detained on Thursday in Riga, said police spokeswoman Sintija Kajina. She said he will likely be extradited to Germany to stand trial there.

Police arrested seven Latvian nationals last October in connection with the bank robberies and extradited four, who are believed to have taken part in the actual heists, to Germany to stand trial.

Police said the men lived in Latvia but traveled periodically to Germany. They wore masks and threatened bank customers with guns during the heists, getting away in stolen cars which they ditched before leaving Germany.

Police believe the group may also be linked to four men detained last week for a bank holdup in Riga last February, the AP reports.

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