Clue found in hunt for Scot missing in Hamburg since Saturday

Hamburg police have been able to track the movements of a young Scottish man who went missing during a stag do at the weekend, according to a local newspaper.

Clue found in hunt for Scot missing in Hamburg since Saturday
Photo: Private

The Hamburger Morgenpost (MOPO) reported on Friday that police have had at least 10 people contact them over possible sightings of Liam Colgan, who was on his brother's stag do when he disappeared during a pub crawl in the St Pauli neighbourhood.

One person reported seeing him in a bakery in the town of Buxtehude, which lies immediately southwest of Hamburg in the state of Lower Saxony.

A police dog was then able to pick up Colgan’s scent and follow it to the town’s train station.

The MOPO reports that another police dog picked up the 29-year-old’s scent in the St Pauli neighbourhood, but this trail also broke off.

Colgan was last seen in the Veermaster pub in the vicinity of the Beatles Platz at around 1.30am on Saturday morning.

Police confirmed to The Local that their investigations had taken them to Buxtehude.

“After we published a photo of the missing person, there were several leads that came in including several witnesses who think they saw him in the Buxtehude and Lower Saxony area,” a police spokesperson said.

The police will intensify their search on Friday and continue to put up pictures of Colgan in the areas where he could have been sighted.

Colgan is described as 1.82 metres tall, with short ginger hair and stubble. At the time of his disappearance he was wearing a leather jacket and a grey hoodie.

Police ask people who may have clues as to his whereabouts to call on 040428656789.


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.