German police dog detects suspected key figure in gang of people smugglers on farm in Lotte, Germany

German police dog detects suspected key figure in gang of people smugglers on farm in Lotte, Germany

Image of German police officers. Credit: Pradeep Thomas Thundiyil/

A suspected key figure in a gang of people smugglers was detected on a farm in the German municipality of Lotte by a federal police special forces dog.

German federal police special forces arrested a suspected logistician from a large gang of smugglers this Tuesday, March 14 according to The suspect was already known to the police and was said to have stored dozens of inflatable boats and motors on a farm in Lotte, Westphalia.

A raid was conducted at the property during the early hours of today, as a result of which, 41-year-old Dirk P was detained. Sources informed the news outlet that the detainee worked for an international smuggler network in Germany as an important logistician.

Federal police officers arrested their man on behalf of the public prosecutor’s office in Hamm on the basis of an EU arrest warrant from the Belgian authorities. He is suspected of having stored large numbers of inflatable boats and boat engines on his property for the network.

This storage operation had apparently been carried out in the knowledge that the material was to subsequently be used for life-threatening smuggling trips across the English Channel.

Today’s raid was the second visit by the police to Dirk P. In July last year, investigators searched his farm as part of a large-scale cross-border operation against the network. On that occasion, they secured around 50 boats and 920 life jackets.

Mobile phone evaluations and further analyses revealed that Dirk P. was probably not an unwitting landlord of a warehouse, but a presumed key figure. During the raid in July, federal officers also found three sharp firearms which were said to have been stored ready to hand.

These were possibly kept, so the investigators hypothesised, in order to be able to defend the inflatable boats – which are valuable for smugglers – against potential rivals.

According to research conducted by Der Spiegel, Dirk P. had several previous convictions for serious violent crimes. When he was detained this morning, he was apparently not very cooperative at first. When officers entered the house, he fled and hid in the yard’s attic. A federal police service dog tracked P. down after a short time.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at