In the morning he greeted the special forces of the federal police, who ensured his safety; In the afternoon he stood in front of MPs, who applauded him from all parties, while Eliane Tillieux, President of the Assembly, showed him her support and assured him of the solidarity of the House of Representatives. On Thursday, September 29, Belgian Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne made his first public appearance since he was about to be kidnapped. After the session he went to a secure apartment where he lived for several days with his wife and their two children aged 3 and 6. Authorities are not confirming the information, but he would have left this “safe house” before the weekend while remaining under very high protection.
For the minister and the country’s judicial authorities there is no doubt: the Dutch drug mafia is behind this kidnapping project. Four men are behind bars in the Netherlands and a court in Amsterdam has 60 days to rule on Belgium’s extradition request.
methods of narcoterrorism
On the evening of September 22, a police patrol checked a car with Dutch number plates in Kortrijk, the city where Mr Van Quickenborne lives and of which he has been mayor since 2013. The police are not acting haphazardly, the security services have drawn attention to a possible kidnapping. The three occupants of the vehicle are known to the Dutch judiciary – one of them has already been convicted of attempted kidnapping – but not to the Belgian police, who let them go. However, their identities have been established and they are arrested in the Netherlands the following night. Meanwhile, Belgian police have indeed found heavy weapons, shackles and something in front of a garage door in a second car, which was hastily abandoned 100 meters from the minister’s house, and something that was undoubtedly intended to set the car on fire once it was taken away. An accomplice of the trio was also arrested in the Netherlands on September 25.
It was a phone call from Frédéric Van Leeuw, the federal prosecutor in charge of serious crime and terrorism, who alerted the justice minister, who was returning to New York that day from the UN General Assembly. The Chief Justice tells him “very bad news”. “People don’t always take threats seriously, but in this case I had no trouble convincing my interlocutor,” explained Mr Van Leeuw.
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