Dutch police uncover makeshift torture chamber, six men arrested

Yolanda Curtis
July 8, 2020

A shipping container which had been converted into a "torture chamber", complete with a dentist's chair, pliers, scalpels and handcuffs, has been found by Dutch police.

The messages called the warehouse the "treatment room" and the "ebi", a reference to a high-security Dutch prison.

All six men were detained on suspicion of planning kidnapping, hostage-taking, serious abuse, extortion, and participation in a criminal organisation, the statement by the authorities said, while two of them were detained for possession of weapons.

Detectives also discovered the seven shipping containers converted to a warehouse in Wouwse Plantage, a small town in the south-west of the Netherlands near the border with Belgium, according to a statement released on Tuesday. It was an worldwide effort, as the messages were cracked by French police starting in 2017, with British and Dutch detectives pursuing the leads generated by them.

Hundreds of other suspects have been arrested across Europe based on these messages, of which there were reportedly millions.

The identities of potential victims - who had been warned and fled into hiding - were also uncovered.

The grisly discovery gave a chilling insight into the increasingly violent Dutch criminal underworld, which is involved in the large scale production and trafficking of drugs.

Six suspects were arrested after armed police raided a warehouse.

Andy Kraag, head of the Dutch National Investigation Service, said the police operation had "prevented a number of violent crimes".

Images, shared online, show a dentist's chair, various tools, including pliers, scalpels, and handcuffs attached to the ceiling and floor implying the criminals were going to fix someone.

Police say the tools found in the chamber "were likely meant to torture victims or at least put them under pressure".

© Provided by New York Daily News Authorities in the Netherlands have discovered an apparent torture site hidden inside shipping containers, which were lined with sound-proofing material and filled with assumed torture devices, the country's National Prosecutor's Office has said. "The sea container with the dental chair contained bags with objects that were presumably meant to torture or at least put pressure on victims", the statement added.

A court in Amsterdam ordered the six suspects held for 90 days as investigations continue.

"This is a great result of the 26Lemont investigation", Mr Kraag said. "And believe me, many more results will follow".

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