The German police, customs investigation office and the Hamburg public prosecutor’s office are investigating a total of nine suspects on suspicion of unauthorized import of and illegal trafficking of cocaine in large quantities.

17 search warrants in four federal states and five arrest warrants were executed yesterday morning, as the police in Hamburg says in a statement.

Meticulous investigations led the investigators from the Joint Drug Investigation Group of the police and customs authorities to track down the nine men between the ages of 26 and 41.

According to their findings so far, the investigators assume that the majority of the men from Germany (3), men from Albania (3) and North Macedonia (3) had access to containers arriving or stored in the port as dock workers and, they were involved in cocaine smuggling as so-called inside perpetrators.

About two weeks ago, the Joint Drug Investigation Group succeeded in finding and confiscating almost 240 kilograms of cocaine in a container that came from South America and was deposited in the port in the O’Swaldkai (Kleiner Grasbrook) area of the Port of Hamburg.

The authorities yesterday morning executed a total of 15 search warrants issued by the responsible district court at the request of the Hamburg public prosecutor’s office in Hamburg (8), Lower Saxony (3), Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (3) and Schleswig-Holstein (1). The officers also arrested two of North Macedonia (40 and 41) and three Albanians (26, 28 and 32), on the basis of arrest warrants issued in advance by the district court.

During the searches of 15 residential or residence addresses, a workplace and a garage, the emergency services seized, among other things, around 7,000 euros in cash, mobile phones and written documents. The officers also confiscated a high-quality BMW as a suspected means of crime. The evaluation of the evidence is still ongoing.

It was scheduled the five arrested people to be brought before a judge, who will announce their arrest warrants.

The head of the Hamburg State Criminal Police Office, Jan Hieber, emphasized: “The long-standing, good and close cooperation between customs and police in the joint drug investigation group has once again proven its worth. The internal perpetrators of port logistics play a very central role in import smuggling and are therefore the focus of law enforcement authorities. That’s why this success is also an important signal to the masterminds of the international organized drug trade.”

“Today the investigative authorities have succeeded in striking a significant blow against the import smuggling of cocaine through the port of Hamburg. Much more serious than seizing the cocaine is the successful identification and arrest of the suspects and the dismantling of organized criminal structures,” said the deputy head of the Hamburg Customs Investigation Office, Matthias Virmond.

The investigations conducted jointly by the Joint Drug Investigation Group and the public prosecutor’s office are ongoing.