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CRIME

Frankfurt customs agents seize piano with 16 kilos of cocaine

Customs agents at the Frankfurt am Main airport announced on Wednesday they had seized a seemingly worthless piano containing 16 kilogrammes of cocaine.

Frankfurt customs agents seize piano with 16 kilos of cocaine
Photo: DPA

The used piano sent from Chile and destined for Spain raised suspicions during a stopover in Frankfurt. It contained several packages of cocaine – worth €2.5 million on the street – in the body of the instrument inside a fibreglass case.

“To ship a seemingly not very valuable piano by plane halfway around the globe isn’t the economically sensible thing to do,” said customs spokesman Andreas Urbaniak. “Simply the method of transport raised our suspicions.”

Two men aged 46 and 51 were later arrested in Madrid in coordination with Spanish police.

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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