Plainclothes officers became suspicious of the boy when they noticed him rummaging around the sand of a playground in Berlin's Kreuzberg district. When they tried to approach the youth and speak to him, he attempted to flee, police spokesman Martin Otter told The Local.
The officers managed to restrain the child and search him, at which point they discovered he was carrying 150 packets of heroin and a “large” quantity of cash.
“Let's just say that for a 12-year-old, he had a lot of money on him,” Otter told The Local.
The boy is a resident of a children's home but has never had any past problems with police, Otter said. Police are trying to determine whether the boy was dealing the drugs himself or carrying the drugs and cash for someone else.
Kreuzberg has a thriving drug scene mostly concentrated around Kottbusser Tor, not far from where the boy was arrested. Otter said uniformed and plainclothes police are constantly patrolling the area to monitor the situation but said the officers were shocked at the boy's age.
“This is a total exception, most people in the drug scene in Kreuzberg are quite a bit older,” Otter said.
The boy has been returned to the children's home while police continue their investigation.