Neo-Nazis snared by German police in multiple raids
Authorities swoop in three states across 15 locations to clamp down on Reich advocates
Police moved in on members of a far-right group engaged in forging documents. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
German police on Tuesday raided 15 locations where members of a far-right group that maintains the second World War German Reich still exists were engaged in forging documents such as identification cards and drivers’ licences.
Police said the raids in three different states were ordered after an investigation into 16 people suspected of membership in the Reichsbuerger (Reich citizens) movement which renounces the existence of the federal republic.
Seven of the 16 suspects were representatives of the self-declared “Federal State of Bavaria” who issued followers with citizenship documents, police said in a statement.
Their goal is to establish a German Reich where the existence of the Federal State of Germany would not be recognised.
Police searched 15 apartments and business locations in the southern states of Bavaria, Baden Wuerttemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate.
Police did not say if the suspects, aged 40 to 62 and including two women, had been arrested in the raids or beforehand.
Some members of the group refused to pay fines and taxes, writing to civil servants in correspondences that they do not recognise their jurisdiction.
A Reichsbuerger member opened fire on police in Bavaria in October, injuring four policemen, including one officer who later died of his wounds.
The incident added pressure on the government to better equip the police and hire more officers.