A Russian gangster—motivated by financial gain—was behind the Dortmund bus bombing, and not “far rightists” or Muslims, German police have revealed.
According to a report in the German Local, police arrested the Russian for the bombing on Friday last week. Identified as 28-year-old Sergej W., police said he was “hoping to profit from a drop in the football team’s share price as a result of the attack.”
Three explosive devices went off in a hedge alongside the team bus on April 11th, minutes after it left the squad’s hotel heading for a Champions League quarter-final match at home against Monaco.
The blast shattered the bus windows, and Spanish international Marc Bartra, 26, was wounded, forcing him to undergo surgery for a broken wrist.
A motorcycle police officer suffered inner ear damage from the blast.
“The accused is suspected of having carried out the attack on the team bus of Borussia Dortmund on April 11th,” prosecutors said after the elite GSG 9 police unit arrested the suspect in Tübingen near Stuttgart in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg.
“He is charged with attempted murder, setting off explosions and causing serious physical injury.”
The suspect was staying in the same hotel as the team, had a view of the scene where the attack was to be staged and had bought so-called put options on the team’s shares on the day of the incident, prosecutors said.
These 15,000 options could have been sold at a pre-determined price by June 17th, with a sharp fall in the share price promising a high profit.
“A significant drop in the price could have been expected if, as a result of the attack, players had been seriously injured or even killed,” the prosecutors said.
Sergej. W had allegedly taken out a loan of tens of thousands of euros to pay for the put options, most of which he purchased online from the IP address of the Hotel L’Arrivee, where the team was staying, prosecutors said.
He hoped to earn as much as €3.9 million ($4.2 million), the Bild newspaper reported. The team’s share price has fallen by about 5.5 percent on the Deutsche Boerse since the attack and closed at €5.36 on Thursday.
Citing unnamed investigators, Bild said police believed the suspect was capable of building a remotely-triggered bomb, having won an educational award in electronics and engineering in 2005.
An Iraqi man was taken into custody over a suspected Islamist link but was later cleared of involvement in the attack.
Similarly, a purported claim stating a far-right motive sent to German media bore “contradictions and inconsistencies,” prosecutors said, adding that there was “no indication that it was sent by the perpetrator.”