We have detected 34 OH/IR stars within 1 degree of the galactic centre by their OH emission line at 1612 MHz (18 cm) using the Effelsberg 100 m telescope and the Very Large Array. The spatial distribution and the distribution of the radial velocities show that practically all stars are within 150 pc from the Galactic centre, and that the number of foreground objects is very small. The projected distribution of the stars is similar to that of the surface brightness at 2.4 μm. Since the 2.4 μm radiation is supposed to be due to red giants, the OH/IR stars are probably members of the same population. The stars have considerable random velocities (velocity dispersion in one coordinate of 150 ± 50 km s−1), but show general Galactic rotation. The high velocity dispersion is remarkable for objects of this population.