Wiesbaden – In connection with investigations by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) against a gang of highly professional drug dealers at the Port of Hamburg, there was another arrest. A 44-year-old German citizen was arrested in England by means of a European arrest warrant from the Hamburg District Court, the BKA said on Wednesday evening.
He is said to have organized tons of cocaine transport from South America to Europe and the distribution of the drugs in Hamburg.
In November, the BKA searched various properties in Hamburg, Bremen and southern Schleswig-Holstein and carried out several arrest warrants.
The accused are said to belong to a network in the area of organized crime that specializes in smuggling very large loads of cocaine from the South American growing countries to Hamburg.
Those arrested included drug transport organizers, cocaine traffickers and freight carriers. The now arrested 44-year-old has been considered a fugitive since November, as the BKA explained. The international manhunt and cooperation with the British authorities had “led to his whereabouts and thus to his arrest”.
The raid in November was preceded by months of investigations by the BKA and the Hamburg public prosecutor’s office. This year as well as last year, customs in the Port of Hamburg had repeatedly intercepted very large deliveries of cocaine that were hidden in freight containers on board ocean-going vessels between unsuspicious cargo.
According to the BKA, the evaluation of short messages in the EncroChat mobile phone communication network used by criminals played an important role in the investigation. French and Dutch investigators broke into the encrypted system months ago and intercepted many millions of messages.
According to the authorities, suspected criminals from the field of organized crime communicated across Europe via the EncroChat network and frankly planned the most serious crimes such as drug trafficking, murder, money laundering, extortion and kidnapping. In this context, there have already been large raids in several countries, during which tons of drugs have been found.