The police in Antwerp, in collaboration with the FAST team of the Federal Police and FAST Netherlands, have arrested two wanted men in the Netherlands. One of the two men was extradited to Belgium on Thursday. The two were sentenced to four and five years in prison last year, but cut their ankle ligaments on the day of the verdict.
On the night of August 9, 2022, the word “thief” was sprayed with graffiti on the front door of a house in Van Lissumstraat in Deurne (Antwerp city district). There was also an attempted arson of a vehicle. The perpetrators fled.
An investigation by the Antwerp public prosecutor’s office revealed two Dutch people. They were arrested by the investigating judge on October 13, 2022 on suspicion of attempted deliberate arson and participation in a criminal organization. They were given an ankle monitor. The court in Antwerp sentenced them to prison terms of four and five years and a fine on May 31, 2023.
At the request of the Public Prosecution Service, their immediate arrest was ordered, but the men cut their anklets on the same day and went into hiding. Since then they have been spotted and were actively tracked down on behalf of the Antwerp public prosecutor’s office. Thanks to cooperation between the Belgian and Dutch police services, one of the two men was arrested in the Netherlands on November 20, 2023. The extradition procedure was started and the 21-year-old Dutchman was extradited from the Netherlands to Belgium on Thursday to serve his five-year sentence.
The identified 19-year-old co-suspect who was sentenced to four years in prison in the same case was also actively tracked down. He was arrested last month by the Dutch FAST team. His extradition procedure is still ongoing, the public prosecutor’s office said on Friday.
Family El H.
The firebomb attack was aimed at the El H. family from Berchem, who had put together security teams to protect their addresses against attackers.
On the night in question, the suspected attackers were allegedly kidnapped in Wipstraat in Antwerp. There they were taken to a location where they were held, beaten and tortured. Eventually they were released.
Later, shocking photos and videos of these facts surfaced in the media. Two boys lay gagged on the ground, their wrists, ankles, eyes and mouths covered with tape. The face of one of them was swollen. Another video showed the two completely naked.