Teenager as helper

Soko “Aroma” put a stop to huge drug gang

16.05.2024 09:30

The criminals called themselves the "Aroma Working Group": After several months of investigation, a total of 20 people were arrested in the Braunau district and proven to have sold more than 100 kilograms of drugs with a street value of over two million euros. The Romanian gang had also used teenagers as "runners".

In the summer of 2023, an increase in perfume thefts in drugstores was detected in the Braunau district and a Romanian citizen was promptly identified as a suspect. In addition to commercial thefts, the Romanian had also sold narcotics in parks. During a search of his workroom, a large number of stolen drugstore items as well as narcotics and electronic data carriers were seized. It emerged that the arrested man was a subordinate member of a "poly-criminal" group of offenders based in the Braunau district and originating from the central Romanian region.

Most of the perpetrators come from Hunedoara
In the fall of 2023, a temporary "AROMA" working group was set up at the Braunau district police command. With success: the investigators were able to uncover the entire structure of the network and identify all members of the criminal organization, some of whom had serious criminal records.
The majority of the group came from the same Romanian city, Hunedoara, and took up residence in a hotel in the Braunau district to conduct their criminal business. As some of the suspects were already wanted in other countries, the crooks also used forged identity documents.

Narcotics came from Spain and the Czech Republic
During the surveillance, it emerged that the group of offenders made their living by smuggling and trafficking narcotics in addition to property crimes. The drugs were smuggled by the kilogram from Spain and the Czech Republic to the Innviertel region and temporarily stored in bunkers in Ried and Braunau.

Underage sub-dealers
Subsequently, the higher-level members used underage sub-dealers of Romanian origin who sold the drugs to end users in Braunau, Mattighofen and Ried and also committed property crimes on their behalf.

Youngest gang member only 15 years old
The youngest sub-dealer in the group, a Romanian who was only 15 years old at the time of the crime, was arrested. He had sold a total of ten kilograms of marijuana and a considerable amount of cocaine and crystal meth in parks in Mattighofen over a period of five months. The cash amounts obtained were collected by the gang members on a weekly basis.

Spaniard delivered 15 kilos of narcotics
Approximately 15 kilos of narcotics were transported by a Spanish citizen by train to Salzburg and from there by a Serbian intermediary to a cellar compartment in Mattighofen before they were distributed by the Romanian criminal group. In the meantime, the Spanish national was arrested by French customs at Paris station, he had several kilograms of marijuana with him. The Serbian middleman was arrested in possession of several kilograms of marijuana by officers of AG AROMA in Mattighofen.

15 suspects are in custody
15 people were taken to the prisons in Ried, Wels, Linz and Salzburg. The main perpetrator identified as the man behind the criminal organization was arrested in Romania in the course of a European arrest warrant and has since been handed over to the Austrian justice system. The group of perpetrators is accused of smuggling and trafficking marijuana, cannabis resin, crystal meth and cocaine, as well as numerous property offenses, dangerous threats and coercion, as well as the use of false evidence.

The Braunau cultural and bar scene is buzzing. (Bild: Scharinger Daniel)
The Braunau cultural and bar scene is buzzing.

64-year-old was the cocaine baron of Braunau, now the local and culturalscene is shaking
At the end of 2023, Soko AROMA also managed to break up another group of offenders operating in the Braunau area. A 64-year-old self-employed businessman had allegedly been selling top-quality cocaine in trendy bars in the center of Braunau since 2020 with the help of his 50-year-old employee. The deliveries were made exclusively to very select customers from the local and cultural scene in the Braunau area. At the turn of the year, the 50-year-old subordinate employee was arrested in the act of selling cocaine to a bar operator and narcotics and a weapon were seized. Due to his high alcohol level (over two per mille), the buyer's driving license had to be confiscated as well as the drugs he had bought.

Courier brought "snow" from Berlin
Shortly afterwards, the 64-year-old employer was also arrested during a meeting with his courier driver. The marginally employed German citizen from Berlin had traveled to the scene in a specially prepared smuggling vehicle. Specially trained officers were able to find a professionally constructed smuggling stash in the car; in the course of the search measures, they also managed to seize several thousand euros in drug money in addition to a large quantity of cocaine and cannabis resin. In cooperation with the analysis department of the Upper Austrian State Criminal Police Office, smuggling routes and their frequency were reconstructed.

Apartment in Braunau used as a bunker
In the end, the investigation revealed that the 55-year-old Berliner had been using the 64-year-old's apartment in Braunau as a bunker since 2020. During this time, almost 50 kilograms of drugs, including 9 kilograms of cocaine, were stored for onward transportation and a not inconsiderable amount was resold by the group of offenders in Braunau. All three of those arrested were sent to Ried prison.

The "aroma" balance sheet
The sale of 109 kilograms of narcotics (48 kilos of marijuana, 50 kilos of cannabis resin, ten kilos of cocaine, one kilo of methamphetamine) with a street value of approx. 2 million euros was cleared up.

The following were seized
- 8.5 kilos of marijuana
- 1.5 kilos of cannabis resin
- 50 grams of methamphetamine
- 200 grams of cocaine
- Approx. 55,000 euros
- One car (smuggling vehicle)
The street value of the seized drugs amounted to 125,000 euros

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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