Police have arrested a man they say was a main participant in the New Year’s Eve sex attacks in Cologne on the German-Swiss Border.
Police in Germany have announced the arrest of a key suspect from the sex attacks that occurred in Cologne on New Year’s Eve. Authorities were able to capture the Moroccan national at the border of Bodensee, a lake which lies between Bavaria and Switzerland Suddeutsche Zeitung reports.
The 19-year-old migrant was already wanted by police in connection to the sex attacks and has been on the run since January. He is said to have visited the Swiss border town of Kreuzlingen, where he was detained along with a 24-year-old accomplice by Swiss police for shoplifting food and cigarettes from a store across the border in the German town of Konstanz.
The 24-year-old is also suspected of having participated in the New Year’s Eve attacks.
Initially a Swiss border guard voiced suspicion that one of the migrants may have been wanted in connection with the Cologne attacks. Swiss police were able to connect the suspect to a European wide arrest warrant that had been issued after he was positively identified by German police.
The suspect is now in a jail in Switzerland, but will be deported to Germany as the Konstanz-Kreuzlingen prosecutor has issued an extradition warrant for the pair.
Although there were over a thousand reported cases of theft and sexual attacks on New Year’s Eve, German authorities have had increasing difficulty tracking down suspects. Many European Union politicians and German officials initially insisted that the attacks had nothing to do with mass migration.
One victim of the attacks was called a racist because she said that the vast majority of her attackers appeared to be men from the Middle East and North Africa. The 26-year-old gave an interview to German media describing details of her assault, and how social media users had called her work to threaten her, and call her a racist and a right winger.
The first arrest in connection with the attacks was of an Algerian asylum seeker who was thought to have participated in groping young women outside the Cologne train station.
Arrests since then have been few and far between, leading many to question the efficacy of the German police to protect German woman from sexual assault and bring the perpetrators to justice, especially when some have accused the police of attempting to cover up the matter entirely.