Traced to Goa, Nazi war criminal tried to enter Karnataka, arrested on way and flown to Berlin
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An 88-year-old Nazi war criminal identified as Johann Bach was airlifted to Berlin yesterday after he was tracked down to the Goa-Karnataka border by German and Indian intelligence agencies on the basis of information provided by an Israeli group involved in the search for war criminals and investigations in Goa.
Though local police and intelligence agencies in Karnataka said they were "unaware" of the operation, Karnataka Additional DGP for Intelligence, Shankar Bidari, said his office had received information of the arrest on Saturday morning. He also said the alleged war criminal had been moved to Germany.
Officials at the German embassy, when contacted, said they had received no information of the arrest in Goa. The German consulate in Mumbai had also not received any information, embassy officials said.
Reports from Hubli and Goa quoting a press release issued by Perus Narkp, said to be the intelligence wing of the Berlin-based German Chancellor's Core, said Bach had been involved in the killing of nearly 12,000 Jews at the Marsha Tikash Whanaab concentration camp in East Berlin under Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime.
Bach has been identified as an absconding Waffen SS (Schutzstaffel) Colonel. He has also been identified as a senior adjutant at the East Berlin concentration camp.
Bach had been on the run over the last 50 years, hopping across countries like Argentina, Bulgaria, Yemen and Canada before arriving in Goa around five months ago. He had been under surveillance after people involved in the search for listed Nazi war criminals traced his location to Bardez in Goa, the Karnataka intelligence official said.
Efforts to nab the alleged war criminal narrowed down recently when he put up an antique 18th Century piano up for sale through newspaper advertisements in Goa. The piano is said to be similar to one reported missing from an East Berlin museum during the Holocaust years.He was arrested at Anmod on the Goa-Belgaum route.
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