Kidnapper of Cigarette Company Heir to be Extradited

The former kidnapper of a German millionaire cigarette company heir will be extradited from the Netherlands to Germany, an Amsterdam court ruled on Tuesday.

Thomas Drach, 60, was arrested in the Dutch capital 10 weeks ago.

He is strongly suspected of having committed three robberies.

Drach will be handed over to the Cologne judiciary, ruled the court, although it was initially unclear exactly when that would take place.

Drach, who was born in the German town of Erftstadt, near Cologne, is alleged to have committed three robberies of cash-in-transit vehicles in Cologne and Frankfurt with accomplices in 2018 and 2019.

During one robbery, a security guard was seriously injured.

For years, however, there was no trace of the perpetrators.

A suspected Dutch accomplice has meanwhile also been arrested in Amsterdam.

No decision has yet been made on his extradition to Germany.

Drach, who had lived in Amsterdam until his arrest, had not objected to the extradition.

He had only been released from prison in the autumn of 2013.

In 1996, he and accomplices had kidnapped the Hamburg heir to the Reemtsma tobacco dynasty, Jan Philipp Reemtsma.

The victim was released after 33 days for the equivalent of around 18 million euros (21.6 million dollars) in ransom.

Drach was later caught and sentenced to 14.5 years in prison. 

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