Der U-Bahnhof Neukölln in Berlin-Neukölln, aufgenommen am 17. Februar 2021 für die Rubrik Station meines Lebens. Foto: Kitty Kleist-Heinrich

Berlin investigators are currently examining possible motives for the kidnapping of a 14-year-old in Neukölln. On Thursday, the teenager was threatened with knives and a gun by young men at the Neukölln S-Bahn and U-Bahn station. The perpetrators forced the boy to follow them.

According to preliminary findings, the youth’s family should pay the perpetrators a “significant sum”, according to legal circles. The men ran almost 400 meters to Körnerpark with the kidnapped child. Suspects aged 21 to 25 were arrested there by a mobile task force just 20 minutes later.

Officials suspect the men were acting on behalf of a clan involved in drug dealing. A bag with drugs worth around 10,000 euros is said to have been stolen from this extended family shortly before.

The bag’s owners suspected the thieves in the 14-year-old’s family. According to Tagesspiegel information, one investigative approach is that the bag was lost in an outdoor pool.

It is therefore the same swimming pool in Gropiusstadt in the south of Neukölln where an unusually large amount of heroin and a firearm were confiscated two weeks ago. At that time, investigators had found various packages of heroin in the “double-digit kilogram range” in the snack bar of the outdoor pool.

The gun was also hidden in the kiosk, and the operator was arrested. His wife, who runs two “Spätis” in the city center, was also arrested for the time being. Tens of thousands of euros in cash and gold bars are said to have been found in one of their shops.

The Berlin police do not officially confirm the swimming pool hypothesis. The two cases should not be directly related. However, there is also the suspicion of “organized crime” (OK) in the current case; officials from the OC department are investigating.

After being treated by the police and having blood drawn voluntarily, the men suspected of kidnapping were allowed to leave police custody on Thursday evening.