Various packages of heroin are said to have been confiscated in Berlin-Neukölln during a raid on Wednesday. According to information from the Tagesspiegel, this is a quantity in the “double-digit kilogram range” that was hidden in a snack bar at an outdoor pool in the south of the district.
A firearm is said to have been found in the snack bar on the grounds of the swimming pool. The operator was arrested. His wife, who runs a late-night shop in North Neukölln, was also arrested for the time being. In a second late night, tens of thousands of euros in cash and gold bars are said to have been found. The Berlin police have not yet officially commented on the operation, which may have something to do with the large-scale situation in Charlottenburg: a driver also crashed into a crowd there on Wednesday morning.
The raid in Neukölln is based on evaluations of data from the messenger service “Encrochat”. French investigators managed to crack the encrypted “Encrochat” system in 2020. The program for conspiratorial SMS traffic was considered tap-proof among criminals all over Europe, they sent detailed messages about all sorts of illegal things via this app. For the last two years, procedures based on Encrochat references have also been increasingly sought in Germany.
In addition to investigators from the State Criminal Police Office, the special task force was also involved in the searches on Wednesday; a total of 200 police officers. Investigations are being carried out on suspicion of gang-like import smuggling. The two main suspects are said to have family contacts in Turkey. In this case, there may also be a suspicion of money laundering.
Heroin is produced in Asia from the opium poppy that grows there, as well as in Afghanistan, Myanmar, Laos and Thailand. It is smuggled to Germany via European ports as well as overland. Then smugglers from Iran, the Central Asian countries, Turkey and Eastern Europe are often involved. In recent years, men from Lebanese clans living in Berlin have repeatedly been arrested for drug trafficking.