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Swedish collector behind Auschwitz theft: reports

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Swedish collector behind Auschwitz theft: reports
Police officers in Krakow present a part of the retrieved inscription
13:54 CET+01:00
A Swedish citizen may have been behind the theft of the infamous metal sign that hung at the entrance of the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz, according to Polish media.

The German sign, which reads "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work sets you free"), was stolen from Auschwitz on Friday. Five male suspects were detained early on Monday, when the sign was also recovered by Polish authorities.

Several Polish media sources cited involvement of a Swedish citizen, who reportedly offered the thieves between €10,000 and €30,000 to commit the crime, Aftonbladet reports.

It is unknown whether or not the Swede in question has been identified and if he or she will be arrested. There have been several media reports indicating that the sign was to be transported to Sweden.

"We have been cooperating with... all international agencies and institutions around the world... It is possible that a person could be detained (on a European warrant)," Polish police spokesman Dariusz Nowak said during a press conference, according to Reuters.

Reuters reported that Nowak declined to comment on Polish media reports that a Swedish collector might have been involved in the crime.

"The question of the mysterious Swede has appeared ... I cannot confirm or deny this ... Of course they (the five suspects) didn't steal it to have it in their collection. So it looks more and more that somebody else is behind this," Nowak said.

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