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Berlin: Police Hit ‘Criminal Structures’ in Two Districts

In Berlin, police ran yet another large operation against organized crime. As many as 200 officers participated.

Police and officials from several district offices got to work on Friday. Their mission was to “combat criminal structures” in the notorious ‘Neukölln’ and ‘Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg’ districts. Starting in the morning, police raided seventeen restaurants, pubs and betting offices around ‘Kottbusser Tor’. This square is a known crime hotspot frequented by drug dealers and other criminals.

Businesses Raided

Police also became active around ‘Hermannplatz’ and on ‘Hermannstrasse’ where businesses were raided as well. Several proceedings were started due to infractions of the German Youth Protection Act and other laws. In one pub, officials measured high carbon monoxide levels, which is why part of the place was shut down.

On top of it all, the Berlin police department had its officers check vehicles and their drivers in the same areas. A total of 158 cars were stopped and numerous proceedings initiated, due to drug consumption and traffic offenses. Several individuals were arrested, one vehicle confiscated. At a café in ‘Braunschweiger Strasse’, two drug dealers were arrested. The business was closed.

In 2019, Berlin’s police conducted about one operation against organized crime, including Arab family clans, per day. This year does not seem to be very different in this regard. Berlin’s Interior Senator Andreas Geisel has vowed to keep on fighting criminal structures of this kind many times.

Clans in North-Rhine Westphalia

Berlin is not the only federal state in Germany in which organized crime and in particular those clans constitute a huge problem. In North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany’s largest federal state, and Berlin combined, as many as 1200 operations against these structures were run in 2019.

In ‘Neukölln’, District Mayor Martin Hikel told the German news channel ‘n-tv’, there needed to be “new legal tools” which allowed the authorities to confiscate illegal money, for instance when criminal clan members purchased real estate objects. Hikel is not the first official to express this kind of opinion.

The Berlin authorities intend to “hit the clans where it hurts”. And they have done so already. The existing laws allowed them to confiscate 77 real estate objects in 2018 and more in 2019. This is the path they intend to keep on walking.