SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

Chinese ‘specialty cook’ trafficking ring raided

Law enforcement officers staged nationwide raids on Monday as part of an investigation into a Chinese human trafficking ring providing “specialty cooks” to restaurants across Germany.

Chinese 'specialty cook' trafficking ring raided
Photo: DPA

Some 1,330 customs officials, as well as state and federal police, collaborated to search 180 apartments and restaurants. The operation, headed by the Lower Saxony state prosecutor’s office in Hannover, is working on evidence that more than 1,000 “specialty cooks” have been brought to Germany in the last several years to work gruelling hours for meagre pay.

The raids were meant to gather evidence against three Hannover-based Chinese ringleaders, a statement from the state prosecutor said. The two men and one woman have been imprisoned on remand since March and are believed to have earned millions in euros by bringing the cooks to Germany and then faking their employment records while paying them well below the legal limit.

Among computer data and other evidence gathered, police collected assets that could be used to compensate the underpaid cooks for their damages.

The investigation focused on the Hannover region but also included the states of Hessen, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Saarland.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

SHOW COMMENTS