World

Suspect arrested in Dortmund team bus bombing allegedly motivated by money

BERLIN: Police commandos yesterday arrested a German-Russian suspect behind the bomb attack on Borussia Dortmund's team bus, prosecutors said, indicating that the motive was financial and not terror-related.

They said the man, identified only as 28-year-old Sergej W., 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 11, minutes after it left the squad's hotel heading for a Champions League quarter-final match 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 policeman on a motorcycle escorting the bus suffered trauma from the noise of the blast.

"The accused is suspected of having carried out the attack on the team bus of Borussia Dortmund on April 11," prosecutors said after the elite GSG 9 police unit arrested him around dawn in Tuebingen, which is in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg.

"He is charged with attempted murder, setting off explosions and causing serious physical injury," they said.

He was staying in the same hotel as the team, with a view of the attack scene, and had bought so-called put options on the team's shares on the day of the attack, they said.

These 15,000 options could have been sold at a pre-determined price by June 17, 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.

The suspect had allegedly taken out a loan on April 3 to pay for the put options and bought them online from the IP address of the L'Arrivee hotel, where the team stayed. He had hoped to earn as much as €3.9 million (S$5.8 million), the Bild newspaper reported.- AFP

bombingbusGermany