Arab gangs dominate organized crime in Berlin. Often made up of over a thousand members, the extended families find strength in numbers. Any member who breaks the code of silence risks his life.
Duisburg has launched a number of operations in recent weeks in an effort to combat its reputation as a hotbed of crime.
Organized crime in some areas of Duisburg has become such a problem that the state's Ministry of Justice is assigning two prosecutors specifically to look at mob activities there. But the concept has its detractors.
Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office says that economic harm from organized crime has declined considerably. But the number of crimes remained constant, and criminals are always on the lookout for new opportunities.
Berlin authorities have seized dozens of apartments and houses they claim are owned by one of the city's Arab crime networks. A new law allows police to confiscate property bought with ill-gotten gains.
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