Federal police conduct ‘largest ever’ nationwide raid against human trafficking

German federal police launched a crackdown in 12 federal states on human trafficking and organized crime on Wednesday morning.

Federal police conduct ‘largest ever’ nationwide raid against human trafficking
Police raiding a house in Bonn on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

The coordinated raids, which several officials said was the biggest in the decades-long history of the force, are targeting human traffickers and criminals involved in forced prostitution.

More than 1,500 police officers have been deployed nationwide, including Germany’s GSG9 elite SWAT teams.

Over 60 residential and business premises have been searched.

The federal police in North Rhine-Westphalia reported that numerous arrest warrants have been issued and several people have already been arrested, among them a 59-year-old Thai woman and resident in Siegen. “But there will be more (arrests),” a spokesman said.

The raids are primarily aimed at a group of around 15 to 20 people of German and Thai nationality. The woman arrested is suspected of being a leader of the gang.

Among other things, the gang has been accused of human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and the exploitation of prostitutes. The alleged perpetrators are suspected of smuggling several hundred people from Thailand to Germany and forcing them into prostitution.

The raids, which are also being conducted in brothels and massage studios, are expected to continue throughout the day on Wednesday.

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Man sentenced to five years for deadly attack at German pride parade

A German court handed a man a five-year juvenile detention sentence Wednesday over the death of a trans man he attacked at a pride march, in a case that caused a national outcry.

Man sentenced to five years for deadly attack at German pride parade

The tribunal in the western city of Münster convicted the defendant, whose name was not released due to his age, of “assault resulting in the death” of the 25-year-old victim identified as Malte C., court spokesman Henning Barton told AFP.

As well as the five-year sentence, the judges ordered “his placement in a drug rehabilitation centre”, Barton said.

The 20-year-old had shouted homophobic insults and threats at several people attending an LGBTQ pride march in Münster in August 2022.

Malte C. had placed himself between the assailant and the group with the aim of protecting them, at which point the attacker became more aggressive.

He punched Malte C. in the face, causing him to fall to the ground and hit the back of his head on the ground. He underwent emergency surgery that night for a traumatic brain injury and was placed in an induced coma.

The 25-year-old died in hospital a few days later.

The case sparked anger across Germany, with LGBTQ groups calling for more decisive action against homophobic and anti-trans violence.

Rights organisations and religious leaders organised a public funeral for Malte C. in October which was attended by several local officials including police chief Alexandra Dorndorf, who posted a photograph on Twitter of herself
at the ceremony holding a rainbow flag in solidarity with the queer community.