WA group of five men have to answer to the Hanau district court for large-scale drug trafficking. The accused, between the ages of 25 and 38, from Frankfurt and the Main-Kinzig district, had weighed 110 kilograms within six months cocaine and 199 kilograms of amphetamine smuggled into the country and redistributed, as public prosecutor Florian Gensheimer stated in his indictment on Wednesday. According to him, two Germans were at the head of the group and determined the quantities and prices for buying and selling the intoxicants. According to the indictment, a Turk and a Serb acted as couriers during the transport, and a third German received money from the sale. According to the investigation, more than three million euros passed through the hands of the group.
According to the prosecutor, the drugs were in Hanau, Gründau, Bad Orb, Eschborn, Liederbach, Bad Nauheim, Frankfurt and in cities outside the Rhine-Main area. The prosecutor accuses the men of being members of a gang and of having built up a “firmly organized criminal structure”. For drug trafficking in this way, they face a prison sentence of between five and 15 years. The drug was partly imported from the Netherlands. The group obtained cocaine from South America from a previously unknown man who called himself "Tito" in the chat messages, as Gernsheimer explained. He smuggled the drug in portions of several hundred kilograms to Europe via the ports of Hamburg, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, some of them hidden in crates with bananas.
Perpetrators felt safe
The investigators used data from the Anom chat to track down the group accused in Hanau. Special encrypted mobile phones are required to exchange messages on this platform. With the Anom chat, the federal police of the United States, in cooperation with other countries, had set a digital trap for criminals around the world. The American investigators circulated the devices needed for the chat. The perpetrators, including drug dealers in the Rhine-Main area, felt safe because they assumed the messages were reliably protected. As a result, some of them communicated very openly about their illegal dealings without the usual code words.
In fact, the authorities in the United States intercepted all messages from the chat and passed the data on to law enforcement officers in other countries, including Germany. The cut-off date for arrests in various states of suspects identified using this information was June 7 last year. It was initially disputed whether the data intercepted by the American investigators could be used in German courts. Several higher regional courts have already decided to do so, as Gensheimer said on the sidelines of the hearing.