Police uncover torture chamber in Netherlands while investigating trafficking ring

The EncroChat affair sparked off in late June, in which six suspects were arrested amid a war between drug lords.

Dutch police revealed , Tuesday July 7, the discovery, in the province of Brabant (south), of seven containers transformed into places of detention and torture for kidnapped people, undoubtedly the rivals of criminals specializing in drug trafficking. Six individuals were arrested, including a 40-year-old man in charge of a sports center in Utrecht.

This attack, operated at the end of June, was made possible thanks to the vast police investigation Dutch and French who, with the help of several European services, had entered the EncroChat encrypted telephone network. This was followed by the dismantling of networks active in drug and human trafficking, money laundering, arms sales, etc.

Described as “shocking” by Andy Kraag, chief investigator, the discovery of the containers in a warehouse in the locality of Wouwse Plantage was the result of an investigation started in April and fueled by the millions of messages exchanged on EncroChat by criminals. They spoke of kidnappings, hostage-taking and assassinations. Wouter Plantage’s containers were placed in a large warehouse on a farm.

Furnished cells had been soundproofed, and in one of them the police discovered a dentist’s chair fitted with ties and handcuffs. Pliers, hammers and knives were apparently used in torture sessions. A message picked up by the investigators by the police left, in any case, little room for doubt: “When he is in the chair, we will know more, but this dog is on the run”, asserted the ‘one of the criminals.

Heavily Armed

Members of the group were carefully organized and heavily armed. In a second warehouse they had set up near Rotterdam, police discovered more than 20 pistols and a machine gun, bullet proof vests and several fast cars. A dozen other suspected network haunts were raided.

“By intervening in time, we were able to prevent terrible things,” said Kraag. The network uncovered, dubbed “The Alliance”, apparently resulted from the regrouping of several traffickers opposed to Redouane Taghi, the head of a Moroccan mafia specializing in cocaine trafficking. Arrested in Dubai at the end of 2019 with the help of Moroccan justice, this drug “baron” is accused of having ordered the assassination of nine people, including a lawyer, and attacks against two newspapers.

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