At the end of August, police and customs found 700 kilograms of heroin in a shipping container in the port of Hamburg. “This is the largest amount of this drug ever seized in Germany,” said the Dresden public prosecutor.

In Dresden, Spain and the Netherlands, a total of five men were arrested on strong suspicion last night and arrest warrants were issued against four of them. Two of the accused arrested in Dresden are in custody, the other three in custody pending extradition.

During searches of apartments and commercial premises in and around Dresden, in the Chemnitz area, in Hamburg and in the Netherlands, documents, laptops, data carriers, smartphones as well as vehicles and assets were seized. Background are investigations by the public prosecutor’s office in Dresden and the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) on suspicion of the import of narcotics by gangs in large quantities.

Cross-border raids

The accused are said to have smuggled large amounts of heroin from Iran to Germany in order to distribute it further throughout Europe. A key transhipment point is said to be in the greater Dresden area – the mega delivery was also addressed there, as a spokesman for the Dresden public prosecutor said.

According to the announcement, the suspected lead organizer, a 40-year-old with Turkish-Serbian citizenship, a 54-year-old German who handles imports through his company’s logistics, a 53-year-old Turk who acts as a liaison man, and a 35-year-old Iranian were caught , who is said to have helped organize the transports in the Netherlands. A 40-year-old Iranian is considered an accomplice.

Numerous officers from the BKA, customs in Hamburg and Dresden, the state criminal investigation offices in Hamburg and Saxony, the Hamburg and Saxon state police and the federal police were involved in the raids, as were the local authorities abroad. According to the public prosecutor’s office, the investigations are ongoing – including for other gang members.