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CRIME

Drug dealer can keep German job centre start-up business grant

An enterprising unemployed man who was caught dealing in magic mushrooms has been told he does not have to pay the more than €7,000 business start up money the German employment office gave him.

Drug dealer can keep German job centre start-up business grant
Not allowed Photo:DPA

The 27-year-old man from Hürth near Cologne, set up a company to import the mushrooms from Holland, store them in his home and then deliver them to his customers by car, the Express newspaper reported at the weekend.

The man, named only as Marcel F., wrote up a business plan and submitted it to his case officer at the job centre, complete with details of his internet site with the name pilzkoepp.de – which means mushiehead.

The job centre accepted his plan and gave him a €7,200 grant to start his company. Because the mushrooms are not plants, they were not covered by the narcotics laws.

It was not long before the police knocked on Marcel’s door and confiscated all his stock, before taking him for questioning and prosecution.

The law had been changed to include mushrooms, the Express said, and Marcel’s business was no longer legal.

He was given a suspended 18-month sentence – but the court ruled that he did not have to repay the job centre.

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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