Nine people arrested in nationwide raid against organized crime

Nine people arrested in nationwide raid against organized crime

focus on smugglers

Nine people arrested in nationwide raid against organized crime

DPA / Paul Zinken

Audio: InfoRadio | December 8, 2021 | M. Large , Image: DPA / Paul Zinken

Security forces conducted dozens of searches, conducting massive raids across Germany. Lakhs were confiscated and nine arrest warrants were executed. The searches focused on Berlin and Brandenburg.

Police cracked down on organized crime on Wednesday, with massive raids in Berlin, Brandenburg and at least ten other federal states. A suspected smuggling gang was the focus of action on the part of Customs and the Federal Police.

Security forces raided around 50 houses, business complexes, logistics centers and workers’ residences. A police spokesman said the focus was on Berlin and Brandenburg. During searches of 50 properties across the country, more than 19 million euros were allegedly seized through “property arrests”, as well as real estate, expensive cars and other luxury goods.

Suspected gang leader arrested

A total of nine arrest warrants were executed in Berlin, Brandenburg and Bremen and the surrounding area. The criminals’ organization is said to consist mainly of Germans and Russians. Public prosecutor Christine Hoffley said the alleged head of the gang, a 49-year-old man, was arrested in Bremen.

Very hierarchical structures and a “conspiratorial network” of different companies – often letterbox companies – have been built. A 62-year-old tax consultant who was also arrested in Bremen, a Berlin couple and a 47-year-old suspect found north of Bremen in Lower Saxony must also be of upper echelons.

more than 20 suspects

Nationwide action was directed against more than 20 suspects. He is said to have operated a network of lending companies, including fictitious companies, in the Balkans and Germany, a spokesman for the federal police said.

Through these companies, the accused are said to have issued temporary workers from non-EU countries such as Ukraine and Moldova, among other things, forged identity documents posing as EU citizens and making them Referred to large German logistics companies. It is said that these companies were not aware of this and they themselves were cheated. Investigators announced that they would be taking a closer look at the contracts.

Of the 6,700 euros, only 750 euros were received by the temporary worker

According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the workers came voluntarily but lived here in poor conditions and worked hard. He was recruited in very poor countries, Hoffley said. “Since they are illegal in Germany, they were dependent on their employers from the start,” said the investigator. It further states that the smugglers forged papers and paid themselves for accommodation from the workers. They may have withheld wages and not paid Social Security contributions.

In one case, according to investigators, an employer paid 6,700 euros per month for a temporary worker. The man himself got only 750 euros from it. Sometimes smugglers had to pick up their food from the garbage, as it was called.

About 2,200 officers are on duty

According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Potsdam Customs Department discovered the gang in 2019 during the control of illegal employment. Some suspects are still unknown. The charges are suspected of smuggling foreigners in a commercial and collective manner, forgery of documents, organized undeclared work and illegal employment, as well as money laundering.

According to official information, more than 2,200 customs officers, federal police and THW were on duty during the raid. During the search, they found 275 people who may be in Germany illegally.

Broadcast: InfoRadio, December 8, 2021, at 8 am.

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