On June 10, 2020, in a chat group of the encrypted messaging service Sky ECC, a user sends ‘One exploded, two left. I have done Ten Eekhovelei’. The message leaves little to the imagination and clearly refers to a grenade attack that night in Deurne-Noord. On camera images, the investigators see that a man arrives by bicycle and takes something from his pocket.
The grenade is detonated in front of the house of the B. family, several cars and facades are damaged. Although the attack was clearly committed and the police were also sent to the scene, not everyone was equally satisfied with the effect. One of the users in the chat group says that people behind the corner have not heard anything. ‘Lacrim’, a name attributed to Mohamed ‘The Algerian’ C., responds that ‘they should use others, mine don’t go so fast’. (Read more below the photo)
“Second wave is about to begin”
A day later, a grenade exploded in Sint-Niklaas, near the home of the Antwerp drug criminal ‘Fredje’. A burned-out engine is found a little further on, presumably the vehicle used by the attackers. The attack in Sint-Niklaas is also discussed in the chat group.
A user identified by investigators as Farhan Bouzambou, who was previously sentenced to 11 years in prison, sends that “the second wave is about to begin” to which Imrane EL called “Boss Backup” responds that they will “show who the thieves are.” ‘. After the attack there is dissatisfaction because the explosion was not in the news, only the burned-out engine made the local press. (Read more below the photo)
It will be again on June 16. On the Boterlaarbaan in Deurne, the banquet hall of the B. family is targeted with a grenade. De Algerian and Imrane EL would also have sent messages about this. In it they talked about an AK (Kalashnikov) and the fact that the performer had to be able to aim. The Algerian replies ‘he is an ex-soldier, he can do that’. Ultimately, the attack is committed with an ‘apple’ (grenade).
Intimidation after cocaine consignment disappears
“It is clearly the work of a criminal organization. In this way they want to intimidate others – in this case the police known for drug offenses family B. – in order to get a better grip on the environment”, says the Public Prosecution Service (OM). According to the OM, the attacks were committed after a shipment of cocaine with the stamp RM035 had disappeared in March 2020.
“A conflict has arisen between the investors,” said the Public Prosecution Service. It is not entirely clear in the file who stole the cocaine, although the investigators do see that one of the suspects wants to sell blocks with the stamp ‘but only outside Belgium’. The Algerian is also accused by others of the theft, he denies being the thief. (Read more below the photo)
The Public Prosecution Service is convinced that Farhan Bouzambou, Imrane EL and De Algerian directed the three attacks. For this purpose, it mainly obtains information from Sky ECC and also relies on telephony data and camera images. In addition, one of the intermediaries in the attack on the banquet hall states that he was controlled by the Algerian.
The well-known criminal, himself already the target of attacks, was sentenced to nine years in prison. Bouzambou and EL face eight years in prison. The intermediaries, executors and two sidelined drug dealers face between eighteen months and six years in prison.
The defense will hear on October 17, the lawyers asked for and were granted a postponement because some of the documents were added to the file too late and because the CD-ROM with chats was still not available.