Postcard from... Kempten


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The Independent Online

Kempten, capital of Germany’s idyllic and mountainous Allgaü region in south western Bavaria, is a popular tourist destination also renowned for its high quality Alpine cheese.

That reputation has now been eclipsed by another less innocuous substance: namely cocaine. €250,000-worth of the drug has been found in the locker of the head of the region’s police drug squad. Yet nobody has so far been able to explain how it got there.

It has emerged that a row between the drug squad boss, a detective chief inspector, and his wife led police to discover the 1.5 kilo block of coke. The wife apparently asked her husband’s police colleagues to act as mediators on her behalf and in doing so they searched his locker and found the stash. He is now under arrest.

Meanwhile Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung points out that the Allgaü has been an Italian Mafia stronghold for years. Six months ago, anti-drugs police launched what they claimed was as a major operation to curb the Mafia’s influence, but all they retrieved was a mere 15 grams of cocaine and a similar amount of cannabis.

There are now suspicions that drug dealers may have been tipped off. The Allgaü’s police chief says the scandal is the most serious he has experienced in his 20-year career.