• Germany's news in English
 

Drug-smuggling granny 'did it to stay active'

Published: 24 Aug 2012 11:26 GMT+02:00

The Düsseldorf judge who jailed the 76-year-old for two-and-half years on Thursday rejected the image of her as a sick old lady, saying she was robust, and should go to prison.

The woman confessed to having a regular run, collecting cannabis in the Dutch border town of Venlo, near North Rhine-Westphalia, and dropping it with dealers in Düsseldorf and Dortmund.

She delivered around 1,000 kilos over five years in a drug smuggling career which she said started accidentally in 2006. Her car had broken down near Venlo and two men stopped and helped her get up and running - before asking whether she would take some washing powder containers over into Germany.

Initially the men reimbursed her for fuel, but once the drug runs had become regular, they paid her up to €700 per trip.

She said she usually took between two and three kilos of cannabis which had been hidden in boxes and gym bags, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Friday.

“My client was acting under no criminal impetus,” the woman's lawyer told the judge.

Not only had members of the drugs ring put so much pressure on her to carry on making the journeys, meaning she found it almost impossible to break free, but the driving kept her mobile in old age, the lawyer argued.

The judge dismissed this argument, saying the woman was “a really robust pensioner,” who suffered from manageable conditions.

Due to the fact that she was knowingly smuggling drugs, the idea of giving her a suspended sentence to spare her prison would give “completely the wrong signal,” she said.

DPA/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

12:13 August 24, 2012 by raandy
Sorry for ya Granny. The problem is when you start making a little easy illicit money it is hard to give it up.

The German Gov. only problem with cannabis is that they are not collecting taxes.
13:04 August 24, 2012 by SeoKungFu
Isn't it related that the current sad state of human affairs goes hand in hand with demonizing a plant?
13:41 August 24, 2012 by raben
In this aspect Germany is still a very underdeveloped, backwards and uninformed country I am afraid.
15:19 August 24, 2012 by Teddy/agnes
you can kills kids in Germany and get away with it,but not drugs, you go to jail because no taxes were payed,if omi pay tax for the drug money no jail time.
15:42 August 24, 2012 by Strictly
@Teddy/agnes

How is killing crime different from a drug crime.Are both crimes? It's only in Europe you can get away with such crime.
16:22 August 24, 2012 by disease
You can get medicinal cannabis oil legally here in Germany (just pay the €10 per month). My husband takes it for his cancer (we're hoping that it will get rid of it as stated by Rick Simpson of pheonix tears). To start with he did get very high, but now he just feels a little groggy at times.
16:32 August 24, 2012 by Wobinidan
Another dangerous criminal off the streets. What a stupid waste of taxpayer's money.
17:40 August 24, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Meanwhile this harmless old lady goes to jail costing needless tax dollars whilst at the same time the German government is buying stolen date from Switzerland encouraging data theft. Germany is becoming more and more a police state with less and less democratic parliamentary power. Glad I didn't take the German citizenship. Don't want to have any obligations to the nanny.
23:46 August 24, 2012 by ulrike clarke
This old dear has shown real entrepreneurial spririt in these tough economic times.....when she comes out of jail, will she accept my offer to train my teenage kids who are currently struggling to find jobs?
00:06 August 25, 2012 by IchBinKönig
She should have just switched to smuggling concentrate. Its so small an amount, I bet they wouldn't have even found it. It won't be long til Europe catches on to 'Dabs'. Its all anybody talks about on the West Coast. Time to do a Dab.
10:54 August 25, 2012 by malcolmkyle
The United States re-legalized certain drug use in 1933. The drug was alcohol, and the 21st amendment re-legalized its production, distribution and sale. Both alcohol consumption and violent crime dropped immediately as a result, and very soon after, the American economy climbed out of that same prohibition engendered abyss into which it had foolishly fallen.
18:37 August 27, 2012 by Siskokid
Could they have put more time into the people she was doing this for. They seem to have been strong arming her to do so. Justice, what justice, they will just find someone else to do take her place. Stupid, very stupid. Oh, but pot is still illegal in Germaina, order nein?
12:26 August 30, 2012 by raandy
The biggesT failure of the past century,"The Drug War", failed, there are more drugs on the street today than 20 years ago.

The only success for the USA is the removal of civil liberties and greater control by the authorities, all in the disguise of a better world.
Today's headlines
Train drivers' strike to hit Wednesday, Thursday
Train drivers' union (GDL) leader Claus Weselsky (l) on a picket line in March. Photo: DPA

Train drivers' strike to hit Wednesday, Thursday

Train drivers will return to the picket lines on Tuesday afternoon after negotiations with rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) fell through on Friday. Passenger services will be hit on Wednesday and Thursday. READ  

Five things to know about weed in Germany
Photo: DPA

Five things to know about weed in Germany

The stoner holiday of 4/20 may not be as popular in Germany as in its homeland the United States, but weed is nonetheless a hot topic in Europe’s largest economy. For the hemp holiday on Monday, The Local shares five things you should know about weed in Germany. READ  

Migrant boat tragedy
Merkel: We must stop migrant traffickers
Refugees on the deck of an Italian navy ship in April 2014. Photo: DPA

Merkel: We must stop migrant traffickers

Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday that "everything" would be done to prevent more migrants dying in the Mediterranean in their quest for a better life in Europe. READ  

Salafists giving kids martial arts lessons
Police arrest a terror suspect in Mönchengladbach in January. Photo: DPA

Salafists giving kids martial arts lessons

Members of a Salafist group in western Germany have been giving lessons in martial arts to local kids, police reports revealed on Monday. READ  

Holocaust survivors speak before Nazi trial
Two Holocaust survivors at the press conference in Lüneberg. Photo:Dpa

Holocaust survivors speak before Nazi trial

Holocaust survivors spoke at a press conference on Monday before the beginning of the trial of Oscar Gröning, a 93-year-old man who worked at Auschwitz concentration camp during the Second World War. READ  

Football fans abuse AfD head on train
Alternative for Germany leader Bernd Lucke with Deputy Alexander Gauland. Photo: DPA

Football fans abuse AfD head on train

Two football fans hurled abuse at Bernd Lucke, the leader of the right-wing Alternative for Germany party, as he tried to eat dinner with his wife on a train from Berlin to Cologne on Saturday. READ  

Meet new Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel: the young pretender. Photo: DPA

Meet new Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel

Borussia Dortmund have named ex-Mainz manager Thomas Tuchel as Jürgen Klopp's successor. But the legendary coach who steered BVB from strength to strength will be a tough act to follow. READ  

Woman takes equal pay battle to highest court
Edeltraud Walla in her University of Stuttgart workshop. Photo: DPA

Woman takes equal pay battle to highest court

A university worker in Stuttgart has fought a battle with her employer over unequal pay all the way to the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, as the government mulls a new law on gendered compensation. READ  

Nuremberg man injures three in car attack
The aftermath of the crash in Nürnberg. Photo:DPA

Nuremberg man injures three in car attack

A 42-year-old man drove his car into a crowd sitting outside a cafe in Nuremberg on Sunday evening, seriously injuring three men. Police said they suspect that the crash was deliberate. READ  

Union plans new rail strikes this week
Deutsche Bahn intercity trains. Photo: DPA

Union plans new rail strikes this week

Train drivers' union GDL said on Monday that passenger services as well as freight could be hit by strikes this week, after talks over pay, conditions and union representation failed on Friday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,165
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd