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Boy brings 700 banned bangers over border
Photo: DPA

Boy brings 700 banned bangers over border

Published: 10 Dec 2012 16:26 GMT+01:00
Updated: 10 Dec 2012 16:26 GMT+01:00

Police caught a 16-year-old Berlin boy trying to bypass Germany's strict fireworks laws by smuggling 4.3 kilograms of illegal bangers over the Polish border. The teen could face a fine, or even prison, police said on Monday.

Police confiscated the explosives during a routine check of passengers with luggage at Frankfurt (Oder) train station in Brandenburg on Saturday afternoon.

The schoolboy had stashed over 700 bangers in his bag, which he had bought in a supermarket in the adjoining Polish city of Slubice - just over the border where the German restrictions on buying fireworks do not apply.

The law states that members of the public can only buy fireworks for three days each year between 29th and 31st December. This year, one of those days is a Sunday so sales will begin on the 28th.

"Quite often we find young people, teenagers or even adults carrying fireworks over the border at this time of year, this close to New Years Eve," Törsten Peters, spokesman from the federal police told The Local.

He added that 4.3 kilograms of explosives was quite a large amount for a 16-year-old foot passenger to be taking across the border, although people often attempted to smuggle larger supplies of fireworks hidden in vehicles.

Possession of bangers and fireworks - traditionally set off by revellers on New Years Eve - is illegal in Germany unless they carry the seal of approval from Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, said Peters.

Polish-bought explosives are often not checked and can be unsafe, resulting in countless accidents every year.

"The explosive devices sold in Poland often come from China, for example, and you never know how much explosive has been put in them," said Peters.

DPAThe Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

19:17 December 10, 2012 by raandy
Big time mistake, you better off killing someone then trying to beat the Germans out off any import fees.
04:14 December 11, 2012 by CoolBlueIce
He was trying to "bypass Germany's strict fireworks laws"??? Really? Germany has strict fireworks laws? Have you have been in Berlin at Silvester? It's like the whole city is a war zone for an hour and I'm not talking about bottle rockets and black-cats. The fireworks which seem to be freely available in Berlin rival those set off by municipalities in the USA.

I'm not complaining... It's actually quite cool. But I must admit I was shocked at the onslaught of explosives going off which were much more powerful and pervasive than anything (available to the general public) we have in the US. I remember thinking during my first Berlin Silvester, "Mix a couple of million drunken Germans with high explosives... What could go wrong there?"

"Strict fireworks laws"?... I don't think so.

By the way, I'm now living a couple of years in Xi'an, China. The fireworks here are non-stop for days at a time during Lunar New Year, making the Berliners look like amateurs... But having said that, the fireworks freely available in Berlin far exceed (in terms of power) anything we can get our hands on in the USA.
14:51 December 11, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Fully agree with you CoolBlueIce. Germans and anything that goes 'Bang' should be avoided at all costs. The only problem the Finanzamt has with AH is that he died owing taxes.
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