Europe

Berlin bans motorcycle gang after police raids

Group banned, dissolved over purpose, activities running 'contrary to the criminal laws,' says Interior Ministry

Oliver Towfigh Nia   | 12.07.2021
Berlin bans motorcycle gang after police raids

BERLIN

German authorities outlawed a notorious motorcycle gang on Monday in the wake of a police sweep in several German states earlier this month, German television network ARD reported.

In a statement, the Interior Ministry announced that the so-called Bandidos MC Federation West Central gang was banned and dissolved as the purpose and activities of the association ran "contrary to the criminal laws," with raids in five federal states uncovering firearms, drugs, and other contraband.

Authorities accused the biker gang of trying to "widen the areas it controls and to bring in more revenue ... especially when it comes to rival gangs, against which it would use force."

Earlier this month, German police had raided numerous buildings linked to the biker club near the border with the Netherlands.

The ministry said weapons, ammunition, and cash had been seized during the operations along with motorcycles and drugs.

Around 1,800 police officers were deployed during the sweep. In the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, about 1,300 police raided 86 properties, including homes and clubhouses. An additional 18 properties were searched in Lower Saxony, Thuringia, Hesse, and Rhineland-Palatinate.

The Bandidos motorcycle club was founded in 1966 in the US state of Texas. The German branch of the club has been active since 1999, according to the German Interior Ministry.

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