August 3, 2021

Organized crime: this is how the coke taxi business works

Germany Organized crime

That’s how the coke taxi business works

Kokstaxis can be ordered via messenger services. Kokstaxis can be ordered via messenger services.

Kokstaxis can be ordered via messenger services

What: ZGB

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Cocaine use skyrocketed during the pandemic. Drug courier services play a central role in this. You now work in shifts and give discounts to good customers.

Whe cocaine sales skyrocketed during the corona pandemic. Addiction experts say: Drugs that used to only play a role at weekend parties are now suitable for everyday use for many. An illegal industry that has established itself in many large cities, especially in the capital, benefits from this: coke taxis that deliver cocaine to customers’ homes.

A current indictment by the Berlin public prosecutor’s office is about operators of such delivery services. It shows how professionally the coke taxi business is organized. Two Lebanese brothers, Mustapha B. (26) and Moussa B. (24), are said to have run this business in the capital by the end of 2020.

According to prosecutors, the two brothers distributed the cocaine through couriers around the city. Orders were received on two phone numbers. Communication took place exclusively via the messenger services WhatsApp and Wickr me. Several drivers are said to have distributed the drugs for the two brothers. The drivers had names like “Rocky”, “Allo Balo”, “Mike” and “the Bulgarian”.

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The two brothers are said to have used vehicles from a Neukölln car dealership to distribute the drugs. According to the prosecutor, the brothers are said to have supplied a large customer base of more than 100 people in this way.

In order to take orders, the order phone was manned between shift changes and was available at fixed times; before the pandemic on weekdays from 12 p.m. to midnight and on the weekends from 12 p.m. to 3 a.m. The price for a unit of consumption of cocaine, i.e. a microreagent container with 0.5 grams of cocaine mixture, was generally 50 euros. If customers ordered at least five units, one unit was free or only four had to be paid for.

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The two brothers are said to have worked in a division of labor. Only when there were problems should they have shown up together. The two are said to have collected the debts of defaulting buyers or exporters together. For their business, the two brothers are said to have used their brother, who was 17 years old at the time of the crime, who is said to have packed the cocaine in small units and delivered it to the drivers. The handovers took place in different places, for example in front of a restaurant on Hermannplatz in Neukölln and in the parking lot of a supermarket.

The two brothers are said to have deliberately used the young age of their little brother, who has not yet had a criminal record, because the handover of the drugs to the drivers was the greatest risk of discovery. In the event of arrest, the younger brother should have been judged under juvenile law. According to investigators, the wages for the drivers were four to six euros per unit delivered. When they admitted, however, the brothers made it a point that they had been more generous: the drivers received seven euros.

Overall, the brothers acted very conspiratorially – so the investigators assume that they have only discovered a small part of the business. According to the indictment, the almost daily work with several drivers at the same time between 2017 and 2020 should have generated income of almost three million euros. Some of the money is said to have flowed into a car dealership in Alt-Buckow. However, only offenses between February 2019 and September 2020 of more than 100,000 euros are accused.

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In total, the Berlin State Criminal Police Office counted 1,400 cocaine offenses in the first half of this year. “If this continues, 2021 will end with almost 3,000 cases. That would be almost 500 offenses more than in 2020, “says the head of the Berlin drug investigation, Olaf Schremm, recently to WELT. Schremm sees the increase as benefiting from a large number of messenger apps, as in the current case – because customers and drug dealers can use them to communicate in encrypted form.

If you believe the two brothers, who have both been in custody for several months, they want nothing more to do with drugs in the future. They confessed to most of the accused. Both came to Germany with their parents from Lebanon at a young age and also went to school. “I don’t want anything more to do with illegal things,” said Mustapha B. The trial will continue on July 7th.

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