A sect is said to have established itself in a former monastery on the Lower Rhine. Police released a woman who was being held there. A man is arrested – he describes himself as a “prophet”.

During a large-scale search in Goch on the Lower Rhine, the police apparently encountered a sect on the site of a former monastery. A 25-year-old would have been detained there against her will, police and prosecutor reported Wednesday in Cleves. A 58-year-old Dutchman who describes himself as a ‘prophet’ has been arrested, a spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office of the German news agency said. The researchers seized data carriers and two emergency pistols.

Police arrived early in the morning. Earlier there were indications that someone was being held against his will on the grounds of an event agency. “According to the studies, a religious community would have settled in the area, you could also say: a cult,” the spokesman explains. There is talk of an “Order of Transformation”.

The police takes the woman to safety

The detectives met a total of 54 people during the hour-long campaign “with the support of a hundred”. According to the information, there were also ten children. In one of the residential buildings, officials ran into the 25-year-old who was reportedly the victim of the deprivation of liberty.

There were no injuries and it was not a hostage situation, a police spokeswoman said. The exact relationships are unclear. The woman has been taken to safety and is currently being questioned by the police. In addition, it was initially unclear whether other people were being held involuntarily on the property.

The suspicion is directed against those responsible for the events company, a message said. They are people who are “in contact with a religious community” and at the same time have a business activity on the premises. There are several event rooms, a living and utility room or a cafĂ©, the police spokeswoman reports.

“Whether it is actually a cult and whether it can continue to live, there is no matter for the public prosecutor,” said the spokesman. It is unclear whether all the people found there belonged to this community. The interviews and investigations were difficult, he said.

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