German far-right party member charged with drug smuggling

International

BERLIN (AP) — A former regional official with the far-right Alternative for Germany party has been charged on allegations he was involved in smuggling 36 kilograms (almost 80 pounds) of cocaine into a northern port, authorities said Thursday.

Marcus Hoffmann, 46, faces charges of drug trafficking and attempted drug trafficking and could receive up to 15 years in jail if convicted, Bremen prosecutors’ spokesman Frank Passade said.

Hoffmann, a Bremerhaven port worker, and four others are alleged to have received the cocaine in a shipping container in August 2019. He was arrested after an attempt to retrieve another suspected shipment three months later, Passade said, confirming a report in Bild newspaper.

Hoffmann, stepped down as head of the AfD’s regional branch in Cuxhaven “for personal reasons” at about the time the investigation began, Bild reported.

He has refused to comment on the allegations.

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