Berlin – Did arms smugglers from Croatia in Germany follow political goals?
EPA-EFE/ ARTFULLY PHOTOGRAPHER
This issue is addressed by journalists from the Berlin newspaper Tagezeitung in an article entitled “Weapons between Croatia, Bavaria and Berlin”.
In the article in the paper Day care, signed by several authors, describes how a smuggling chain, pie Doje vele, was discovered in 2018. German investigators then caught a man on the highway who they considered to be a courier of an illegal weapon.
“This marked the beginning of many years of investigations that led from Croatia to Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Investigators discovered a network in which a Croatian arms smuggling chain supplied goods to other smuggling chains, including a group that primarily operated from Bavaria, bought smuggled weapons and continued to sell them. Their alleged ef: Alexander R. ”
48-year-old Aleksander R., a former customs officer who tried his hand in the legal business world, had not only alleged criminal ties with Croatia, but also private ones. According to the paper, he is married to a Croat who is “associated with ultranationalist paramilitary militia veterans who fought in the war.”
R. also lives in Croatia, so the last summer was arrested there on suspicion of illegal arms trade. He was then extradited to Germany, where he is still in prison. Apart from him, several other people were arrested on suspicion of having committed the same crime.
Close connection with AfD
Alexander R.’s connection with the right-wing scene in Germany is interesting for Tageszeitung journalists. As he writes, he was a member of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), a party whose parts are under the supervision of the Federal Service for the Protection of the Constitutional Order due to suspicions of right-wing extremism. In 2017, he severed ties with the AfD.
Tageszeitung reports: “In a post on Facebook, he wrote:” AfD is a party of plutocracy implemented by the system! I don’t support her! “And then he added:” I did, I was and remain a nationalist and a socialist! ”
The article recalls that most members of this smuggling group were part of the right-wing extremist scene, and some were also linked to the AfD – with contacts all the way to the Bundestag and the leader of the AfD’s right-wing wing, Bjern Heke.
According to the paper, the testimony of one witness at the trial in Croatia also pointed to this connection: “Already in April 2019, a Croatian court convicted a total of 11 people who were involved in the international trade in war weapons and weapons. (…) One witness said he knew who the weapon was intended for: the AfD. ”
Some of the arrested smugglers also participated in the establishment of the association Patriotic alternative, which supports the right wing of the AfD. The Berlin paper points out that it is known from circles close to the investigators that “Alexander R. wanted to use the proceeds from the sale of weapons to establish a new policy of the organization”, probably a branch of the Patriotic Alternative in Bavaria.
Our research has shown that behind-the-scenes plans go much further: it is about “targeted and successful joining forces and creating parallel structures for nationally conscious Germans and Europeans,” as Alexander R. puts it in an internal document. , “are increasingly exposed to discrimination and blackmail by the ruling system.”
The article reports that members of the group intended to build German settlements in Hungary, Russia and Croatia for those who wanted to live beyond “native mainstream and historical indoctrination.” It also said there was talk of combat training and security firms. and part of the business was to be observations.
what did they plan with the weapon?
The authors of the article believe that the case was not completely resolved by breaking the smuggling ring.
“When you look at investigations and arrests, you could talk about success. About how investigators uncovered a smuggling ring before it could supply the far-right scene with larger quantities of weapons – and before it could be used.
But the internal emails, emails and documents we received show a different picture. In them, we read how the core of the group began to trade and how Alexander R. at the same time worked on creating new right-wing extremist circles. He is looking for contact with right-wing extremist organizations, he is working on founding new ones, which is mostly not the case. He has been doing all this for years – without anyone stopping him. ”
In addition, the paper also warns: “When you look at the known data of the case, it is irritating that six men allegedly traded in weapons, and at least ten of them were interested in buying. And how few weapons were eventually found. ”The authors assume that investigators did not find all the weapons.
The journalists of Tageszeitung go a step further: “The question is, did they plan with weapons? Did they want to form a militant group? “And they remind that the Green Party in the Bavarian provincial parliament asked the Bavarian Ministry of Justice to answer the question whether this is a criminal association.
“They were told: ‘According to previous information, this is not the case here.’ And when asked for what purpose the group sold weapons in Bavaria, they did not receive an answer because, as it was said, the investigation is still ongoing,” writes the German newspaper Tageszeitung.
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