Published: Fri, July 10, 2020

Dutch police uncover makeshift torture chamber

Dutch police uncover makeshift torture chamber

Disturbing messages referred to a "treatment room".

Police say they were tipped off by messages from an EncroChat phone including photos of the container and dentist's chair with belts attached to the arm and foot supports. Detectives in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands have arrested hundreds of suspects based on the encrypted messages.

On 22 June, Dutch national police force officers arrested six men on suspicion of crimes including preparing kidnappings and serious assault.

Late last month, police broke into a series of shipping containers in Wouwse Plantage, a village south of Roosendaal, near the Belgian border.

According to a report by Sky News, the Dutch police have arrested six men following a tip-off that led to the discovery of seven soundproof shipping containers that had been turned into torture chambers. The messages also revealed certain identities of potential victims, whom police quickly notified so they could go into hiding.

Fortunately, the chamber had not been used yet, as police were able to tap into the group's chat network prior to the raids, find out who the intended victims were and subsequently put them into hiding.

Video released by the police showed heavily armed officers blasting open a door at the warehouse and discovering the improvised prison.

Six other shipping containers were found with handcuffs and chemical toilets.

Inside the "torture chamber" was tools such as pliers, hedge cutters and sclapels that police believe, "were likely meant to torture victims or at least put them under pressure", said the police statement.

Police also confiscated 24 kilograms of the drug MDMA, police clothing, stolen vehicles and weapons, the statement said.

The discovery is a window into the Netherlands' criminal underworld which has become increasingly violent over the past few years as drug production and human trafficking has escalated to a mass scale. An Amsterdam court on Monday ordered his detention for 90 days.

The investigation of the data has led to the arrests of hundreds of suspects across the continent.

Besides leading authorities to the makeshift prison, the intercepted communication resulted in the arrest of "60 suspects, the seizure more than 10,000 kilo of cocaine, 70 kilo of heroin, 12,000 kilo cannabis, 1,500 kilo crystal meth and 160,000 liter of a substance used to produce synthetic drugs", read the police statement.

"This is a great result of the 26Lemont investigation", Kraag said.

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