The State Criminal Police Office (LKA) of Lower Saxony, the Hanover Customs Investigation Office (ZFA) and the Hanover Public Prosecutor’s Office have succeeded in striking another blow against internationally organised narcotics trafficking. On 13 April 2023, properties in the region of Hanover and in the district of Hildesheim were searched. The task forces seized extensive evidence, executed five pre-trial detention orders and provisionally arrested another person.
The new success ties in with an investigation from 2022. After the extensive seizure of evidence and the further evaluation of cryptographic communication, the investigators of the Joint Narcotics Investigation Group (JIT) succeeded in identifying five further suspects aged between 28 and 38, as well as assets. Following requests by the public prosecutor’s office in Hanover, eleven search warrants, asset seizure orders in rem and five pre-trial detention orders were issued.
The five suspects are accused of involvement in the import and trafficking of more than 170 kilograms of cannabis, approx. 150 kilograms of cocaine, 20 kilograms of amphetamine and not insignificant amounts of crystal and ecstasy. The street value of the drugs imported into the Federal Republic of Germany and Hanover and sold is at least 5.2 million euros.
The accused obtained the drugs from sources in Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium. They acted as independent middlemen of the narcotics or as almost permanently employed narcotics couriers of a superior group from Hanover, which was already the subject of investigations by the GER of the LKA Lower Saxony last year and whose members have already been sentenced to long prison sentences in a number of proceedings at the Regional Court of Hanover.
During today’s operations, a total of 15 properties in the region of Hanover and in the district of Hildesheim were searched. Further search warrants were executed at short notice. Various items of evidence were seized, including digital data carriers and means of communication, a money counting machine, extensive packaging material, various knives, a machete and explosives (so-called “Polenböller”). The investigators also seized six kilogrammes of marijuana and about ten kilogrammes of cocaine. In addition, financial investigators managed to seize 80,000 euros in cash, high-value watches and a gold chain.
The five persons wanted on pre-trial detention warrants were also arrested. In addition, the investigators arrested another man who could be a supplier of narcotics. All persons are to be brought before a magistrate.
LKA President Friedo de Vries said of today’s operation: “This new blow against another arm of drug crime shows that we do not let up and persistently and consistently pursue organised crime offences successfully and with vigour!”
More than 200 officers from the Lower Saxony LKA, the Lower Saxony Central Police Directorate, the Hanover and Göttingen Police Directorates and the Hanover Customs Investigation Office were involved in the operation.