German police conduct series of raids on Hells Angels

More than 700 German police officers have raided buildings used by a local chapter of the Hells Angels biker gang near the western city of Duesseldorf after state authorities banned the group on suspicion it was engaged in a wide range of criminal activity.

The dpa news agency reported Wednesday that 50 buildings in 16 municipalities in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia were raided in a search for evidence to support the ban.

The state Interior Ministry said the Hells Angels chapter based in the town of Erkrath is suspected of involvement in violence, weapons violations, drug offenses and forced prostitution.

Police tactical teams took part in some of the raids as a precaution in case they turned violent but no incidents were reported. There were no arrests immediately announced.