BERLIN (Reuters) - German police on Tuesday raided 15 locations in three different states where members of a far-right group that maintains the World War Two German Reich continues to exist were engaged in forging documents such as identification cards and driver’s licences.
Police said the raids were ordered after an investigation into 16 people suspected of membership in the Reichsbuerger (Reich citizens) movement which renounces the existence of the federal republic.
Seven of the 16 suspects were representatives of the self-declared “Federal State of Bavaria” who issued followers with citizenship documents, police said in a statement.
Their goal is to establish a German Reich where the existence of the Federal State of Germany would not be recognised.
Police searched 15 apartments and business location in the southern states of Bavaria, Baden Wuerttemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate.
Police did not say if the suspects, aged 40 to 62 and including two women, had been arrested in the raids or beforehand.
Some members of the group refused to pay fines and taxes, writing to civil servants in correspondences that they do not recognise their jurisdiction.
A Reichsbuerger member opened fire on police in Bavaria in October, injuring four policemen, including one officer who later died of his wounds.
The incident added pressure on the government to better equip the police and hire more officers.
Reporting by Joseph Nasr Editing by Jeremy Gaunt