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Police warn against dubious offers of help for refugees at Hauptbahnhof

Berlin Hauptbahnhof

"Aufenthalt in Berlin" ("Stay in Berlin") is written on a poster in the main station as refugees arrive.

Dubious or criminal offers of help and housing to refugee women from Ukraine continue to attract increased police attention at Berlin's main railway station (Hauptbahnhof).

On Tuesday (08 March 2022), there were again individual cases of men making dubious offers to women, a spokeswoman for the Federal Police said on Wednesday. The mostly older men held up signs with offers of accommodation and overnight stays for women, just like the real helpers. Suspicion arises especially when the men only show their signs to certain women and, under certain circumstances, also offer money.

Suspicion of human trafficking and exploitation

The Federal Police have been paying close attention to such cases for days and are also analysing video recordings from the cameras at Berlin Central Station, the spokeswoman said. Tips also came from aid organisations and other helpers. The federal police were checking the suspects, holding a so-called "danger talk" with appropriate warnings and expelling them from the station. They are suspected of human trafficking and exploitation, but there is often no evidence to arrest them. It is important to warn and intervene to prevent women from getting into the cars of these men.

Police ask for reports of shady offers

On Tuesday, the Federal Police had tweeted in German, Russian and Ukrainian: "At Berlin Central Station, some people are behaving conspicuously in connection with the distribution of accommodation to displaced persons from Ukraine. Please contact the police immediately if you are offered money for accommodation or observe people doing this." The Berlin police also made their officers particularly aware of the issue.

Author: dpa/
Publication date: 9 March 2022
Last updated: 9 March 2022

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