Police discover underground prison and torture chamber on the border between Belgium and the Netherlands

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Handcuffs were installed on the floor and ceiling, and the walls were soundproof and covered with aluminum, to prevent them from being detected using a thermal camera.

LDutch police said Tuesday they had discovered a “prison” hidden inside seven containers, one of which served as a torture chamber, thanks to information intercepted on the encrypted telephone system EncroChat used by organized crime.

This global communications network was dismantled, after having been infiltrated a few days ago by the French and Dutch judicial and police authorities. Over 800 people have been arrested.

The containers were in a warehouse near Bergen op Zoom (south). One of them served as a “torture chamber” according to Andy Kraag, the head of the criminal unit of the Dutch police.

It was equipped with secateurs, a saw, scalpels and pliers, the Dutch police said in a statement. Described as a “treatment room” by criminals in the intercepted conversations, it was also equipped with “a dentist’s chair with straps on the arms and footrests,” according to the same source.

The other six containers “served as prison cells to which people could have been tied up,” Andy Kraag said in a video.

Handcuffs were installed on the floor and ceiling, and the walls were soundproof and covered with aluminum, to prevent them from being detected using a thermal camera.

All the equipment was intended to “torture the victims or, in any case, to put them under pressure,” said the police. She did not give details of the victims, but said the kidnappings were planned “with great precision”, and required several teams, weapons, vans and body armor.

Six people were arrested during this operation. Drug trafficking, assassinations, money laundering, extortion, kidnappings … The operation against Encrochat was carried out in several European countries and made it possible to intercept and decipher in real time, without their knowledge, more than 100 million of messages exchanged via EncroChat between criminals around the world.

“It’s as if we were at the criminals’ table, live,” said Jannine van den Berg, chief of the Dutch police.

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