On Wednesday morning, six apartments and other premises in the Berlin districts of Lichtenberg and Mitte as well as one property in the Hamburg district of Eidelstedt and one in Timmendorfer Strand on the Baltic Sea (Schleswig-Holstein) were searched, the Berlin Federal Police announced. Around 160 police officers were on duty. There was no connection with searches carried out in parallel for human smuggling in Thuringia, Lower Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
A 43-year-old Vietnamese woman was arrested as the alleged head of the gang in her apartment in Berlin-Lichtenberg, the public prosecutor said. According to the federal police, the focus was also on two other suspects, a 25-year-old woman from Vietnam and a 64-year-old man from Germany.
You are currently said to have supported eight women and two men in an illegal stay in Germany and benefited significantly financially, as the investigative authorities announced in the afternoon.
In addition to the forced prostitution, the income of which the 43-year-old is said to have collected, paternity recognitions and fictitious marriages were concluded in order to obtain legal residence status for the smuggled – a scam that has been known in Berlin for years.
The main accused had already been sentenced to a long prison term for smuggling Vietnamese women, reported the RBB.
A massage parlor opposite the town hall served as a brothel
The Berlin public prosecutor was in charge of the investigation, which has been going on for a year. The searched rooms in Berlin also included massage parlors and nail salons. “We have indications that they were also used as brothels,” said a spokesman for the federal police.
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According to the RBB, the police also searched an apartment brothel in a high-rise building on Landsberger Allee and a massage parlor across from the Lichtenberg town hall on Möllendorffstraße. According to information from the broadcaster, at least two Vietnamese women who were smuggled in were held and abused as prostitutes. The investigative authorities later confirmed that they had found two women in two different objects in Lichtenberg, one of whom had presented a forged Vietnamese ID.
The aim is also to end this form of forced prostitution and to free women from addictions and to confiscate evidence, said the spokesman for the federal police. The investigators secured extensive evidence, including various documents, cell phones, computers and data carriers, as well as identification documents. In addition, around 7,400 euros in cash and around 400 grams of suspected narcotic substance were confiscated. All of this will now be evaluated.
BKA: Berlin is a hub for human trafficking
The police union (GdP) announced: “It is a good sign that we are not only looking at those who, because of their macho demeanor, are in the political and media focus. With all the publicity of the people in the area of clan crime, we should never forget when using resources that there are also other players in organized crime who commit the most serious crimes. ”
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The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) recently described Berlin as the “linchpin” of Vietnamese human traffickers in Western Europe. The well-known Dong Xuan Center, an industrial and commercial area in the Lichtenberg district with many Vietnamese shops, is of central importance.
According to the BKA, illegally smuggled Vietnamese are sent from Berlin to Germany and Western Europe. There they would have to work off the costs for the smuggling of 10,000 to 20,000 euros. The police came across illegally employed Vietnamese in massage parlors, nail salons, restaurants, the meat or slaughter industry, and the textile and cleaning industries. Behind this is “a huge network” that is “active throughout Europe” and that generates “huge sums of money”. (dpa/Tsp)
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Raids Berlin Hamburg Baltic Sea traffickers earned forced prostitution marriages convenience police justice Berlin