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Police raid German Hells Angels clubs

September 2, 2021

The raids followed up on the murder and dismemberment of a gang member in 2014. Hundreds of officers including riot police were involved in the search of several apartments and a clubhouse belonging to the Hells Angels.

Police raid the premises of a Hells Angels club
Special forces and riot police were involved in the raidsImage: dpa/picture-alliance

Hundreds of police officers raided a clubhouse and various apartments belonging to members of the Hells Angels biker gang in Germany. The raids were carried out in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, seven years after the brutal murder — and subsequent dismemberment — of another member in Duisburg.

Riot police and special forces employed an armored vehicle and searched at least 20 buildings, according to officials in Duisburg and Mönchengladbach. The raids began when several officers gained access to a clubhouse for the gang in Mönchengladbach.

The raids resulted in the arrest of a 42-year-old, along with a warrant for the arrest of a 34-year-old, who is currently in custody for drug offenses. The main suspect, a prominent member of the Hells Angels in Oberhausen, had fled abroad.

Battling the Bikers - The Struggle against Organized Crime in Germany

Raids followed 'years of investigations'

After the 2014 murder, passersby discovered the severed and tattooed arm of the victim in the Rhine River, and two months later the man's torso was also found. The man was said to have been shot dead by the members — among other reasons, because they believed he was associated with the police.

According to police, the raid was preceded by years of investigative work in the "segregated structures of organized rocker crime."

In addition to the 2014 murder, Hells Angels members are also suspected of being involved in two attempted murders in 2013. Searches also took place in Leverkusen and Mülheim an der Ruhr, also located in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The Hells Angels are one of four major motorcycle gangs in Germany. Germany's chapter was started in Hamburg in 1973, and officials have considered placing bans on the group due to its association with violent crime. In July, police conducted a mass raid on the Bandidos biker gang, a rival group of the Hells Angels.

There, they raided over 100 locations associated with the gang and reported seizing weapons, ammunition, and large amounts of cash.

lc/sms (AFP, dpa)