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CRIME

Dope kings charged with growing 14 tonnes of cannabis

A trio of middle-aged Germans produced more than 14 tonnes of marijuana by hiding it in maize fields in locations around the country, a court in Koblenz heard on Wednesday.

Dope kings charged with growing 14 tonnes of cannabis
Photo: DPA

The men, aged 49, 60 and 64, are charged with growing around 3.5 tonnes of the drug each year from 2004 until 2007, while in 2006 they harvested a bumper crop of four tonnes thanks to perfect weather conditions.

The men rented fields in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, hiding their cannabis crop by growing maize around the edges of the fields, a ruse which worked for years.

They also imported up to 30 kilos of other varieties from Holland each week, the court was told.

The drugs were sold to various dealers around Germany, while the three charged are also accused of selling smaller amounts of harder drugs.

A further man, aged 53, is also charged with acting as a middle-man, buying speed, ecstasy, heroin and cocaine for the gang.

A 31-year-old man was also in court on Wednesday, charged with selling around 360 kilos on behalf of the group.

CRIME

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

A driver in Passau has been hit with a €5,000 fine because he was caught by traffic police giving the middle finger.

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

The district court of Passau sentenced the 53-year-old motorist to the fine after he was caught making the rude gesture in the direction of the speedometer last August on the A3 near the Donautal Ost service area, reported German media. 

The man was not caught speeding, however. According to traffic police who were in the speed camera vehicle at the time, another driver who had overtaken the 53-year-old was over the speed limit. 

When analysing the photo, the officers discovered the slower driver’s middle finger gesture and filed a criminal complaint.

The driver initially filed an objection against a penalty order, and the case dragged on for several months. However, he then accepted the complaint. He was sentenced to 50 ‘unit fines’ of €100 on two counts of insulting behaviour, amounting to €5,000.

READ ALSO: The German rules of the road that are hard to get your head around

In a letter to police, the man said he regretted the incident and apologised. 

Police said it was “not a petty offence”, and that the sentence could have been “even more drastic”.

People who give insults while driving can face a prison sentences of up to a year.

“Depending on the nature and manner of the incident or in the case of persons with a previous conviction, even a custodial sentence without parole may be considered for an insult,” police in Passau said. 

What does the law say?

Showing the middle finger to another road user in road traffic is an offence in Germany under Section 185 of the Criminal Code (StGB). It’s punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine.

People can file a complaint if someone shows them the middle finger in road traffic, but it usually only has a chance of success if witnesses can prove that it happened.

As well as the middle finger, it can also be an offence to verbally insult someone. 

READ ALSO: The German road signs that confuse foreigners

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