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Trial of German former Hells Angels leader opens in Spain

January 23, 2023

German national Frank Hanebuth was allegedly involved in pimping and drug trafficking as the leader of a Hells Angels chapter in Mallorca. He is being tried alongside 46 others.

A close-up shot of Frank Hanebuth
Prosecutors have accused Frank Hanebuth of being involved in pimping and drug trafficking, among other crimesImage: Paul White/AP Photo/picture alliance

The trial of a former leader of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang in Europe is slated to begin in Madrid, Spain, on Monday.

Prosecutors are seeking a 13-year prison sentence for German national Frank Hanebuth, who headed a Hells Angels chapter on the Spanish resort island of Mallorca.

Hanebuth is being tried alongside 46 alleged collaborators for their alleged involvement in organized crime.

What are the charges?

Spanish prosecutors allege the Hells Angels conducted illegal activities in Mallorca from 2009 to 2013 under Hanebuth's leadership.

Hanebuth has been charged with being a member of a criminal organization, money laundering and illegal possession of firearms. He faces a €4.2 million ($3.5 million) fine for the money laundering charge.

The other members were allegedly involved in a litany of crimes including extortion, pimping, acquiring illegal firearms and robbery at popular tourist spots.

The trial is expected to last several weeks.

Frank Hanebuth in handcuffs, flanked by two Spanish police officers
Spanish police arrested Frank Hanebuth in 2013Image: Montserrat T Diez/dpa/picture alliance

Who is Frank Hanebuth?

Hanebuth was previously the head of a Hells Angels chapter in the German city of Hanover for several years before relocating to Mallorca.

He was arrested by Spanish police in a large raid in 2013 and spent two years in custody.

The 46-year-old German national was released from prison in 2015 on €60,000 ($65,000) bail but only allowed to leave Spain in 2017, after which he returned to Germany.

zc/rc (AP, dpa)