When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Hells Angels Mannheim, Germany
Hells Angels Mannheim, Germany
Michael Behrendt

BERLIN - The Berlin chapters of the Bandidos gang, whose members have a reputation for being armed and dangerous, had been considerably weakened of late with many members in jail. But the Berliner Morgenpost has learned from law enforcement officials that all 15 members of the “Midtown” chapter of the Bandidos – the last remaining chapter in Berlin -- have joined forces with their former arch-enemy, the Hells Angels.

This represents a nightmare for Berlin police. The rival groups often kept each other in check by violently trying to put a spoke in the wheel of their respective (illegal) activities -- but they are now united under one banner.

Head honcho of the newly-merged entity is a Turkish ex-boxer, Kadir P. A few years back he created a sensation when he took 70 Bandidos members with him and defected to the Hells Angels. According to one investigator familiar with the gang scene, Kadir P.’s successful tactics are a “cleverly woven web.”

In police circles, he’s known as “Kadir Capone” after the legendary mafia boss. “The virtually complete disappearance of the Bandidos in Berlin opens the doors wide to organized crime in our city,” this source says.

[rebelmouse-image 27086201 alt="""" original_size="500x335" expand=1]

Photo: Thomas Angermann

The defection itself took place earlier this year, and went completely unnoticed. The former Bandidos are not yet full Hells Angels; they remain “prospects” until they prove their value to the community. However becoming a “prospect” immediately shows that the new members are already considered important to that community.

Intelligent thug

In the past, Hells Angels and Bandidos in Berlin and its surrounding area were known for their vicious knife and machete fights during which many members suffered severe injuries and the near amputation of limbs.

According to one crime investigator: “With that history, the fact that these guys are now joining forces as if nothing happened shows that bottom line all that really matters to them is money.”

Earning cash by whatever means is the focal point of these gangs’ agenda. Revenues come in not only from weapons deals, prostitution, racketeering and drugs, but also controlling the doors of nightclubs. "If you control the doors you also control what goes on behind them," says one high-level police official. "You control who gets in, and who provides the drugs for the club’s clientele.”

The Bandidos members who recently defected to the Hells Angels, and their 33-year-old leader, are known on the nightclub scene as particularly ruthless players. "Winning them over to their side means that the Hells Angels not only have one less competitor, they have real pros that have all the contact details of the most important people in this industry,” says the official. “Hells Angels only stands to benefit from that.”

Meanwhile Kadir P. may be looking to also join up with the Danish Hells Angels – Hells Angels "Denmark" is not outlawed in Berlin. According to crime investigators, it won’t be easy for German authorities to ban a foreign club. "At the end of the day, Kadir P. is not going to be worrying about what chapter of what country he and his followers are in. He knows who he is. And the crime world knows who he is. That’s enough."

The Berlin police know him too. And in Kadir P., they have not just a powerful but an intelligent foe. "That’s what makes him so dangerous," says the official.

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Anna Akage, Shaun Lavelle and Emma Albright

The last sighting of Vladimir Putin was five days ago, when the Russian President appeared at the inauguration of a giant Ferris wheel in Moscow.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

Since then, as the Ukrainian army’s major counter-offensive in the northeast and south has gained momentum, and Russian troops make a hasty retreat, Putin has disappeared from the public space and made no comments on the dramatic events on the front of what he continues to call a “special military operation.”

The same is true of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, considered a loyal Putin insider and chief architect of the war, who has made no appearances or declarations.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ