In a crackdown on two feuding organised crime families, hundreds of German police and other investigators raided more than 20 buildings in Berlin and the surrounding state of Brandenburg early Thursday, authorities said.
Two individuals were arrested, a 44-year-old and a 22-year-old, the police said. In line with German privacy laws, no names were given.
In a joint statement with the police, the police investigated illegal drug and weapons trafficking as well as bodily harm charges linked to a “clan clash” between an Arab and a Chechen organised crime family last November, prosecutors said. There were several violent confrontations between the two organisations at that time.
The 44-year-old arrested, despite being monitored through an electronic anklet, is alleged to have been part of at least one fracas, authorities said.
The 44-year-old is accused of weapons violations as well as running a marijuana plantation and operating a cocaine delivery service, in addition to being suspected of causing bodily harm.
The 22-year-old faces charges of drugs and weapons, as does another 22-year-old suspect, police said, who is being sought.
Berlin’s top security official, Secretary of State for Home Affairs Andreas Geisel, said the raids showed that the authorities maintained a commitment to crack down on organised crime in the capital.
He said, “These searches and arrests show that we are sticking to it.” “In our systematic fight against organised crime, we do not relent, irrespective of who is behind it.”
Berlin police said that federal agents, Brandenburg police and tax officials were involved in the raids, in addition to their own SWAT teams and other staff, with more than 500 personnel in all.
The authorities did not provide further details, but the Bild newspaper reported that the Remmo family, alleged to have links to two recent spectacular heists, was one of the targets.
Two of the main suspects in last year’s 2019 theft of 18th-century jewels from a museum in Dresden are part of the Beirut-linked family.
In December, the Berlin authorities arrested Mohamed Remmo, 21, in connection with the theft of the Green Vault Museum, while his twin brother, Abdul Majed Remmo, is being sought on an international warrant.
Last year, other members of the Remmo family were accused of an equally dramatic heist, the theft of a 100-kilogram (220 pound) Canadian gold coin called the “Big Maple Leaf” from the Bode Museum in Berlin in 2017.
The coin has not yet been recovered, with an approximate value of EUR 3.75 million ($4.45 million), and the authorities claim that it was possibly broken into smaller parts and sold off.