For allegedly involved in a huge cocaine scandal, ex-talent Kevin Hansen had to go to jail. How could that happen?
In the early morning of April 12, 2010, Kevin Hansen was woken up by something that sounds like a loud hammer blow in his Hamburg apartment. He wakes up, still completely foggy from the deep sleep that he had recently been firmly in control of. He hears the screams of men. “Hands up,” someone yells. The door flies open and eight elite MEK police officers stand in front of the 30-year-old’s bed, their weapons at the ready, the visors of their helmets folded down.
“That was the worst day of my life,” he said 11 friends, three years after the day he was handcuffed, taken away and taken to a Hamburg prison. It was the day on which Hansen’s unhappy life finally fell apart. The day on which he flew out of the curve far too quickly after having been threatened for a while.
Hansen was accused of being deeply involved in the largest drug scandal in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany. At the port of Hamburg, over 1.3 tons of cocaine were found in a container ship, hidden in wooden bricks made of sawdust and small pieces of wood. Since 2009, the drug search had been on the heels of a seven-man gang who planned the deal of their lives and wanted to smuggle coke worth 40 million euros from Paraguay to Germany and then across the border into the Netherlands.
The tabloids outdid themselves in sensational headlines, and the authorities celebrated their spectacular success. After listening to every phone call for a few months, they struck with over 200 men in around ten different locations. They not only seized the drugs, but also weapons, cash, and evidence. Everyone allegedly involved was arrested. Among them: Kevin Hansen, formerly one of the greatest talents of his year, nine Bundesliga games.
Kevin Hansen scores in the first game against Bayern and Kahn
But from the beginning. He was born in Hamburg in August 1979. With his parents he attended the games in the Volksparkstadion, his favorite player was Thomas Doll. In his spare time, like his idols, he trained hard with the diamond on his jersey. It was clear early on that there was a special guy in Hamburg. His shot in particular was outstanding early on. He regularly met from a distance, even in the D youth.
He was hired by Hansa Rostock and won the championship with the 2nd team. His reputation as a great technician, elegant playmaker and tough distance shooter preceded him. At 21 he was on the 34th matchday against the big FC Bayern in the professional squad. In the 70th minute he was substituted on by Armin Veh. Twelve minutes later, the ball fell in front of his feet in the Munich penalty area. He didn’t think twice, but pushed in. In his first Bundesliga game he defeated Oliver Kahn! After the game, all three of them cried with happiness: Hansen himself and his parents.
The world was at his feet. That’s what he thought back then, as you do as a very young guy. And Hansa was delighted to have an exceptional footballer in his own ranks. “Not many in the Bundesliga have such a great shooting technique as Kevin,” said Veh, and even today former teammates report how he slipped the free kicks into the goal in training, the mainstay like in David Beckham’s sloping position. He was good at making heavy things look easy. He then took a run, swung his leg and a little later the ball and goal net made a heavy noise.
A moment changes everything
The fact that he only played eight more games in the German Beletage and never scored a goal was due to that accident in February 2003. He landed on frozen ground after he had climbed up to the ball. It cracked so loud that everyone else could hear it. The devastating diagnosis: Broken ankle!
Hansen tried everything for the pain. He was operated ten times and flew to Basel to be one of the best in his field. He made a few second and third division games for Rostock and Aue, but the years of pain drained him. In 2008 nothing worked. The ankle was causing problems again, it was tired – and sports disabled. At 28 he ended his career and moved back to Hamburg.
He continued to kick a little amateur. But he was not challenged there. He was unhappy with the years of bad luck and pain that darkened his mind everywhere. He went to parties, met the wrong people – and met a friend from before.
Millions in Hansen’s apartment
Costa F. had a sunny disposition. Hansen knew him from his youth in Billstedt. In the circle of friends they knew that he had a criminal past. “We thought the time was over,” says Hansen 11 friends. Costa, the former acquaintance, became his friend. They went out to party, watched films all night. He was happy for the first time in a long time. And he trusted Costa. So much so that he gave him a key to his apartment because he lived a little outside of Hamburg.
At some point Costa said that he had left a bag full of money in the apartment. “That was a million dollar amount,” says Hansen. He claimed that he did not know the background to the money in his apartment, that Costa had told him that if it went wrong they would keep him out. “I was naive,” admits Hansen.
In April 2010, on a cold morning, the life of Kevin Hansen as he knew it ended. A mobile task force stormed his apartment, found the money, which, as later became known, was both the booty of earlier shops and means of payment for the planned mega coup. He was interrogated. The investigators quickly offered him the opportunity to testify and thus receive mitigation. They soon realized that Hansen was not the mastermind.
He was put in solitary confinement while reporters were visiting his parents’ house outside and sections of the tabloid press made him a mastermind. Ex-soccer player, main culprit in the biggest drug discovery on German soil of all time, now sells better. He says, “Why should I have participated at all? I had no money worries.” In fact, he is said to have received around 3,000 euros as disability allowance.
Cartel administrator or victim?
It remains unclear to this day what exact role he played. the MIRROR titled him as “money manager of the drug cartel”. He himself claims to have been a victim of unfortunate circumstances.
Press and investigators alike rack their brains over how Hansen, who grew up sheltered and led a petty-bourgeois life, got caught up in a spectacular smuggling scene. And the question marks about the gang, which is called “Los Paraguayos” in investigative circles, are no smaller than the one about Kevin Hansen. How did the transformation of some petty criminals, who were private friends, into felons?
“Kevin not only has a soft core, but also a very soft shell,” says one of Hansen’s closest friends MIRROR ONLINE. He must have embarked on something over which he quickly lost all control.
In February 2011, he was sentenced to two and a half years in prison. The punishment is only so mild because he cooperated with the authorities, after all, he is involved in the largest drug deal in Germany. In the end, the public prosecutor’s office does not relieve him of his complete ignorance. The final reasoning for the judgment: Aiding and abetting drug trafficking.
April 12th will always remain
Hansen has been at large since the end of 2012. He continues to play in the district league, still today, at 37. He’s back to work. As a tax clerk, just like before the stay in jail. It has become quiet around him. Today he is happy to have survived the nightmare. He is no longer as naive as he was then.
The story of Kevin Hansen shows how fast things can sometimes happen in life, how often wrong decisions can have devastating effects. It shows how tough the football industry is, in which injuries often result in martyrdom, in which one is no longer needed after years of fighting for the big dream.
April 12, 2010 is approaching, Hansen will never forget this day. He paid for his mistakes, is a different person today. He rarely forgets what happened back then. Then he stands on a soccer field, somewhere in the Hamburg province.
He then takes a run-up, swings his leg and a little later the ball and goal net merge into a dull sound for the blink of an eye. The only thing that counts for a very short time is that innocent moment of scoring that he has known since early childhood. And all is well until the moment is over and the earth keeps turning.