Border controls – we all know them. We all hate them when we get stuck in depressingly long traffic jams near the Germany’s southern border with Austria on our way back from Italy, Croatia, etc. When you finally reach the point where the police officer comes up to you and wants to see your passport all your patience is gone, and you just want to get home. One might wonder what good these border controls are. One might argue that they shouldn’t be taking place because Austria is in the EU as well and furthermore is a part of the Schengen treaty, which was brought into life nearly solely for the purpose of eliminating borders. Now, there was a time not long ago where there indeed weren’t any controls among Germany’s borders, but we all know what changed this. The massive waves of refugees pouring into the country. The government decided to have the federal police controlling the most frequently used routes of illegal immigration by human traffickers.
Illegal immigration is not the only crime these border patrol units are trying to prevent. We all heard about the Mafia. What does the Mafia do? They kill, blackmail and trade with drugs. While the border patrols can’t really do much about the killing and blackmailing, they sure can do something about the drug-trade. A friend of mine which I’ll refer to as Tim works for the border patrol as an undercover investigator. Undercover meaning that he doesn’t wear a uniform and drives around in a normal car not that he went undercover to become the best friend of some drug kingpin and then snitch on him. Tim told me several stories about several cases concerning his and his colleagues’ work with drugs at the German-Austria border. The most spectacular being the one where they found multiple kilos of cocaine welded into a car. The total value was estimated to 500.000€. And this is not even the most amazing thing about this case: The mule was known to the German authorities and they even knew that he had planned a trip from Germany down south, with drugs on board. He started this roadtrip of his in Nordhrein-Westfalen carried on through Baden-Württemberg until he was finally stopped by a border patrol unit. Unknown to the vast majority is the fact that border patrol control traffic entering but also leaving the country in order to make sure no convicted criminals leave the country.
That is just one of many many cases in which the border controls executed by the police resulted in success and helped to make this country safer. Where there are expensive drugs like cocaine, violence isn’t far away. And violence leads to pain, pain that often innocent bystanders of drug wars have to endure. So next time when the police officer at a border control comes up to your car and asks you for your passport and what you have in the back think about all the good things that come out of border controls and think twice if your sacrifice of time really is that bad.
author: Sean Langer