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CRIME

Police raid more than 70 biker gang addresses

German police carried out another massive raid against biker gangs on Thursday morning, sending around 1,000 police officers to more than 70 addresses in and around Berlin – and special forces to one clubhouse.

Police raid more than 70 biker gang addresses
Photo: DPA

Commandos from the GSG 9 busted into a building at 5am, smashing windows, using stun grenades and shooting dead a dog in the small town of Henningsdorf just north of the capital. As the day wore on and the arrested men were removed, detectives started tearing the walls apart looking for hidden drugs and weapons.

Unlike raids across northern Germany last month, including one in Berlin which had to be brought forward after details were leaked to the gang, Thursday’s operation targeted the Bandidos gang rather than their rivals the Hells Angels.

Officers struck at 74 flats and buildings used by the gang, with the aim of breaking up drug dealing operations and combating organized crime, a police spokesman said.

Seven outstanding arrest warrants against members of the Bandido chapter Del Este were also executed. The club’s president, a former policeman named only as Thorsten S., was also arrested on a warrant for robbery.

Public prosecutors have been investigating the gang since last year, and the raid had been planned for more than a month, even though the Bandidos have not been officially banned.

The police spokesman said there was no connection with the Berlin Hells Angels club ban and ensuing raid last month.

That raid was undermined by a leaked tip which police fear came from within their ranks, which enabled the Hells Angels to officially dissolve their club and move their money elsewhere.

DAPD/The Local/hc

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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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