German Police sees new forms of extreme violence connected to drug trade and the Mocro mafia. EPA-EFE/THOMAS BANNEYER


Cologne police sees rise of extreme violence connected to ‘Mocro Mafia’


Extreme violence connected to organised crime is reaching new heights in the German city of Cologne.

According to police, this is in large part due to the so-called “Mocro Mafia”, consisting of various criminal organisations predominantly — but not exclusively — made up of people of Moroccan descent.

The Mocro Mafia is mainly involved in the drug trade, and is already well-established in The Netherlands, Belgium and Spain, and is increasingly operating in Germany, bringing with it extreme violence and the use of explosives and automatic weapons.

Michael Esser, Criminal Director of the Cologne police, said the force was observing “a new dimension of violence in the area of organised crime” among drug traffickers.

The heightened violence includes cases of kidnappings, explosions and threats to innocent bystanders.

On July 5, a special task force of the Cologne police executed a complicated rescue mission to free two hostages from the hands of drug criminals. The pair had been injured and needed medical treatment.

According to Esser, it was one of the most complex operations by the police in North Rhine-Westphalia in years and they had to take into account the likelihood that the kidnappers could have had automatic weapons.

Three criminals involved were allowed to escape, ensuring they did not kill the hostages.

According to German radio station WDR, that kidnapping was likely connected to a feud between rival groups over the alleged theft of drug cash.

WDR also said several explosions in Cologne in June and July were connected with the Dutch branch of the Mocro Mafia. In one case, a shisha bar was targeted.

Oliver Huth, head of the Federation of German Criminal Investigators (BDK) in North Rhine-Westphalia, told the German Press Agency: “What we see is that the agitators who belong to this group don’t care about boundaries.

“They have no hesitation in pursuing this conflict in North Rhine-Westphalia. Money, a lot of money, is missing, and as long as that hasn’t been balanced out, this will continue to escalate here.”

The decision by the progressive traffic-light national government to legalise the recreational use of cannabis made matters worse, Huth claimed.

In the Netherlands, the Mocro Mafia has been connected with numerous contract killings, including that of the famous crime journalist Peter R. de Vries, who was gunned down in broad daylight in Amsterdam on July 15, 2021.

Drug criminals have previously threatened former Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Crown Princess Catharina-Amalia.

Similar threats against politicians have also been made in Belgium. Former justice minister Vincent Van Quickenborne was forced into hiding with his family after they also received threats of an attack or a kidnapping.