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Police in biker gang raids

May 25, 2012

German police on Friday dug into the foundation of a warehoues used by the Hells Angels. They suspect it could contain the body of a man who went missing two years ago. This followed a series of raids on Thursday.

Police officer at Hells Angels raid.
Image: picture-alliance/dpa

German police on Friday worked to dig up the concrete foundation of a warehouse used by the motorcycle gang Hells Angels to try and locate the corpse of a man who has been missing for two years.

Police emptied the seized warehouse and used a special tool to try to determine whether there were cavities in the floor. A power saw, power drill and excavator were then deployed to cut through the floor.

The digging operation was spurred by the 2010 disappearance of 47-year-old Tekin Bicer, a man of Turkish nationality from Kiel in northern Germany, which is being treated as suspicious, according to police. The authorities say they believe Bicer's disappearance could be linked to a drug dealing-related dispute. They also believe it could be connected to an alleged prostitution ring, bribery, assault and arms trafficking that members of the Kiel branch of the Hells Angels is suspected of being involved in.

Massive police raids

The warehouse was secured as part of a series of raids involving 1,200 police officers which began on Thursday morning. It was just one of a number of Hells Angels properties searched, including clubhouses and private homes. They visited 89 properties in all, including the house of Hanover's Hells Angels boss Frank Hanebuth; Officers from the GSG 9 special force were helicoptered onto his grounds and Hanebuth's dog was shot in the commotion.

Five key gang members were arrested, said the police. They have also launched initial investigations against 69 suspects.

The Hells Angels are banned in several German states because of their purported links to crime. But German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich remains skeptical about the idea of introducing a nationwide ban on biker gangs.

“If you want to prohibit a group there has to be a solid-enough framework. You cannot simply ban people," he said in comments published in the Friday edition of the Kieler Nachrichten newspaper.

sej/pfd (dpa, AFP)