Is “The Godfather of Berlin” Crime-Boss Lebanese?

Organized crime is a category of transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals to engage in illegal activity, most commonly for-profit – and would you believe that some Lebanese people even excel there? 


Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist groups, are politically motivated. Sometimes criminal organizations force people to do business with them, such as when a gang extorts money from shopkeepers for “protection.”

Gangs may become disciplined enough to be considered organized. A criminal organization or gang can also be referred to as a mafia, mob, ring, or syndicate; the network, subculture, and community of criminals may be referred to as the underworld.

European sociologists define the mafia as a type of organized crime group that specializes in the supply of extra-legal protection and quasi law enforcement. 


Via Spiegel

Mahmoud Al-Zein arrived with his wife in Germany in 1982, claiming to be a ″stateless Palestinian″ who was born in Beirut and requested asylum. Later investigations by a special police task force established that he was born 1966 in Anatolia under the name of Mahmoud Uca.

He is believed to hold both Lebanese and Turkish citizenships, but the situation is unclear as he could possibly be stateless, continuing to hamper ongoing attempts to deport him.


In 2006, Berlin daily newspaper Tagesspiegel wrote that, during a trial, Al-Zain had claimed his real name was Mahaiddine Al-Zein, born in Beirut in 1966, of Kurdish-Lebanese descent. Meanwhile, the state prosecutor maintained Mahmoud Al-Zein was born under the name Mahmut Uca in Turkey in 1972.

German investigators had found out that Mahmoud’s father who lived in Germany on state benefits like his son, was registered in the Turkish village of Üçkavak in Mardin Province, close to the border with Syria.

Via drehscheibe


In March 2008, Mahmoud Al-Zein was sentenced to 4 years and 3 months in prison for drug trafficking. His claim for asylum was already denied in 1984 and the decision upheld despite appeals in 1988 and 1992.

Attempts to deport him to Turkey, following convictions for drug trafficking offenses, failed after Turkey officially stripped him of his Turkish citizenship in 2002, on the grounds that he allegedly dodged the obligatory military service in Turkey.

Via Focus


Nicknamed The Godfather of Berlin, Al-Zein is regarded as one of the most powerful organized crime bosses in Germany. His clan, the Al-Zein Clan, is believed to have several thousands of members. Still unclear on whether he is Lebanese, Kurdish or Turk, the German news call his clan: Lebanese-Kurdish.

The Al-Zein family forms a part of the Mardalli group of Arab Kurds within the Kurdish community in Lebanon. Al-Zein reportedly maintains his business contacts throughout Europe and the Middle East.

Via PI News


Al-Zein is married and has 10 children. He has a brother named Youssef Elzein who was a bodybuilder and a champion of Lebanon seven times. His nephew Muhammed “Hamudi” Ali Al-Zein, son of Mahmoud’s brother Ali al-Zein, went in 1978 as a refugee from Lebanon to Germany. 

Now 26 years old, Hamudi is a young promising heavyweight boxer from Düsseldorf. In 2015 he became WBC Mediterranean champion.

Via B.Z.


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