Dutch police uncover makeshift torture chamber

Updated 08 Jul 2020

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A view of a sea container equipped as a torture chamber in Wouwse Plantage, Netherlands. — AP
A view of a sea container equipped as a torture chamber in Wouwse Plantage, Netherlands. — AP

THE HAGUE: Dutch police arrested six men after discovering sea containers that had been converted into a makeshift prison and sound-proofed torture chamber complete with a dentist’s chair, tools including pliers and scalpels and handcuffs, a high ranking officer announced on Tuesday. Authorities said police conducted the raid before the torture chamber could be used and alerted potential victims, who went into hiding.

The grisly discovery was made last month by officers investigating leads generated by data from encrypted phones used by criminals. The communications network was cracked recently by French police. Detectives in Britain and the Netherlands have already arrested hundreds of suspects based on the encrypted messages.

Tuesday's announcement gave a chilling insight into the increasingly violent Dutch criminal underworld, which is involved in the large scale production and trafficking of drugs.

Dutch police said last week that their investigations, code-named 26Lemont, based on millions of messages from the EncroChat phones, had led to the arrest of more than 100 suspects and seizure of more than 8,000 kilograms of cocaine and 1,200 kilograms (2,600 pounds) of crystal meth as well as the dismantling of 19 synthetic drugs labs and seizure of dozens of firearms.

On June 22, Dutch national police force officers arrested six men on suspicion of crimes including preparing kidnappings and serious assault. Detectives also discovered the seven converted sea containers in a warehouse in Wouwse Plantage, a small village in the southwestern Netherlands, close to the border with Belgium, according to a statement released on Tuesday.

Published in Dawn, July 8th, 2020