Police raid biker club houses across Germany

Police raided biker group Satudarah's clubhouses and the homes of members across Germany on Tuesday after Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere banned the group.

Police raid biker club houses across Germany
Photo: DPA

Police in the west German city of Essen said special units had to be involved in the raids, given the club's “dangerous” members.

Saturdah is The Netherlands' biggest motorcycle club and allegedly has strong ties to organised crime.

The raids started at 6:00 on Tuesday morning in cities including Aachen and Duisburg in North Rhine-Westphalia, which borders The Netherlands, according to the Essen police statement. 

Spiegel reported Satudarah was closely allied with the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, whose rivalry with the Hells Angels meant the two groups had an enemy in common.

Territorial fights between Satudarah and Hells Angels often featured hand grenades, mass brawls and gunshots. Some German club members carried Kalashnikovs and sub-machine guns.

But the testimony of German Satudarah leader Yildiray Kaymaz, arrested in Duisburg in 2013, has already done much to help authorities shut down the club.

The raids and de Maiziere's ban are are seen as continuations of these efforts.

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German police under fire for using tracing app to find witnesses

German police drew criticism Tuesday for using an app to trace contacts from bars and restaurants in the fight against the pandemic as part of an investigation.

A barcode used for the Luca check-in app to trace possible Covid contacts at a Stuttgart restaurant.
A barcode used for the Luca check-in app to trace possible Covid contacts at a Stuttgart restaurant. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Marijan Murat

The case stemming from November last year began after the fatal fall of a man while leaving a restaurant in the western city of Mainz.

Police seeking possible witnesses made use of data from an app known as Luca, which was designed for patrons to register time spent in restaurants and taverns to track the possible spread of coronavirus.

Luca records the length of time spent at an establishment along with the patron’s full name, address and telephone number – all subject to Germany’s strict data protection laws.

However the police and local prosecutors in the case in Mainz successfully appealed to the municipal health authorities to gain access to information about 21 people who visited the restaurant at the same time as the man who died.

After an outcry, prosecutors apologised to the people involved and the local data protection authority has opened an inquiry into the affair.

“We condemn the abuse of Luca data collected to protect against infections,” said the company that developed the Luca app, culture4life, in a statement.

It added that it had received frequent requests for its data from the authorities which it routinely rejected.

Konstantin von Notz, a senior politician from the Greens, junior partners in the federal coalition, warned that abuse of the app could undermine public trust.

“We must not allow faith in digital apps, which are an important tool in the fight against Covid-19, to disappear,” he told Tuesday’s edition of Handelsblatt business daily.