A short message is enough, and a courier will deliver the ordered drugs to the specified address. "Coke taxis" have been to homes, clubs and offices in the capital for many years. There were raids, investigations, lawsuits - but the business of drug delivery services in Berlin is not drying up.
Three men and one woman arrested
The police took action against a network of suspected drug messengers and the suspected heads of a gang. 320 emergency services moved out - to 26 locations in Berlin and two locations in Hildesheim, Lower Saxony. During the raid on the group, which is said to operate "coke taxis", the police also searched "bunker apartments" in which drugs are stored.
Three men between the ages of 20 and 31 and a 32-year-old woman were arrested, the police in Berlin said. The public prosecutor's office had issued arrest warrants against her. Another suspect was also arrested. A police spokesman said that 17 courier drivers and seven other assistants were also being investigated.
Did the capital's police strike an important blow against the flourishing drug business? The investigation should now show whether trade could be interrupted or shut down, said the spokesman.
"Suspected gang illegal trade in narcotics"
The police statement said: "There is a suspicion of illegal trade in narcotics by gangs in large quantities against the group." Investigators are convinced: The gang is said to have delivered drugs on at least 205 days between May 25, 2022 and January 10, 2023. There should have been several deliveries per day.
During the searches, the police found cocaine in the kilogram range, cash and digital storage media, it said. Three vehicles were confiscated. The police also seized mobile phones and data carriers.
For a number of years there has been quite a lot of "coke taxi" traffic in Berlin, but also in other large cities. The delivery service is said to be popular with party-goers, but the customers are likely to cut across society. A student reported in 2019 that business cards had been distributed in front of bars. Many taxis are on the road in Neukölln, Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. Again and again, the police pull individual such drug couriers out of circulation.
In December 2021, the investigators had already carried out a major raid against organized drug trafficking and distribution via "coke taxi": nine suspects were accused at the time, many of them from the clan area. The police spokesman said there were no findings that members of an extended family were also involved in the current investigation into the drug delivery service.