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CRIME

German police raid 600 buildings in drug investigation

Police raided some 600 homes and businesses in Germany, Switzerland and Austria on Wednesday in an investigation of two online companies thought to be selling chemicals used to make illegal drugs.

German police raid 600 buildings in drug investigation
Photo: DPA

The two chemical dealers are from Bavaria and Lower Saxony, but the raids went on across the country, according to the Bavarian state prosecutor’s office and the state office for criminal investigation.

Both dealers are thought to have sold large quantities of the industrial chemical Gamma-butyrolactone, which converts to Gamma-Hydroxybutyra – commonly known as GHB, liquid ecstasy and the date rape drug – when consumed.

The drug can be addictive, and there have been several GHB related deaths in Germany in the past several years.

CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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