After an assassination attempt, Kassra Zargaran decides to testify against his brothers. The former Berlin Hells Angel has been living in the witness protection program ever since and fears for his life.
The Death Head stays. The Hells Angels symbol – a skull and crossbones with wings – is still emblazoned on his left forearm. It is just part of his biography, says Kassra Zargaran in an interview with the ” Tagesspiegel “. That’s why the tattoo stays – even if wearing it is forbidden for dropouts.
Kassra Zargaran is more than a dropout. He has been considered a traitor since he testified against his “brothers” in the summer of 2015 and put eight of them behind bars for life. Including the notorious boss of the Berlin Hells Angels, Kadir Padir.
According to the judges, he ordered the murder in January 2014. Twelve hooded rockers then stormed a Berlin betting shop, one of them pulled out a gun and fired seven times at a “Bandidos” rival who was unsuspectingly playing cards there.
The act lasted only 25 seconds. An execution that went through the press as a “betting shop murder” and is well documented by surveillance video.
Zargaran also belonged to the biker gang that stormed the betting shop.
To this day he says he didn’t know anything about the assassination order, thinking they were “merely” beating up the rival. After the murder, the rocker boss would have gathered the men around him: “It is what it is,” he would have said. And then: “If you are arrested, our lawyers will take care of you.”
Zargaran doubted that. He assumed that he and his “brothers” would spend years behind bars – also to protect Padir. That’s why he would have spoken out and broke the principle: “You don’t talk to the police.” He openly admits that he acted “not only for moral reasons” but also expected personal gain.
In the end, his testimony resulted in seven defendants being sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and Padir for incitement to murder. According to the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” a blow to organized crime that had never been seen before in the capital.
Zargaran himself was initially behind bars for murder. However, because he testified as a key witness, he was released prematurely after six years and seven months. He got into the witness protection program and wrote a book. In it he also settles accounts with the supposed values of the Hell’s Angels.
How I became a Hells Angel when a key witness came out in court and ended up in witness protection
In truth, he writes, the idea of a loyal community never existed: “The club and the brotherhood propagated to the outside world were nothing more than an illusion. A stupid idea. By idiots for idiots. None of it was real.” Nevertheless, he himself believed in it for a long time.
But why? Zargaran himself comes from a middle-class family in Hamburg, but he slipped into crime. He explains to the “Tagesspiegel” that there are three types of men who decide to join a rocker group. First, sadists who want to violently dominate others. Second, criminals who want to secure their illegal activities and earn a lot of money. And third, those who are looking for recognition and belonging. He counts himself among this type.
He would have found affiliation with the Hells Angels. He started at the lowest level, as a so-called “hang-around”, rose to “prospect” and finally became a “member”.
He also reports on the initiation ritual in his book. He had been called to the clubhouse for a meeting. Once there, all members rushed towards him, kicked and hit him. A triumph: Because it meant that he was now a full member of the Hells Angels.
His book provides insights into this isolated milieu and the criminal machinations. It’s also about prostitution, drug trafficking, corrupt police, seedy lawyers and powerful clans. “To be honest, it could all have turned out very differently,” Zargaran told the Tagesspiegel. Where he lives today, he does not want to and must not reveal. However, his everyday life is “quiet, stuffy and otto-middle-class”.
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