DeepL Translator said:NOS News - Interior - Today, 13:31 - Modified Today, 17:31
Torture containers with scalpels and saws 'were for show'
The containers with torture equipment in Wouwse Plantage in which abducted people could be locked up and tortured, were never meant to be used. The case has to do with embezzlement, said prime suspect Van O., who did not explain it any further. "Conclusions were drawn too quickly," he stated before the Court in Amsterdam.
Another suspect also stated, in a written statement to the Court, that the containers were for the show. They pretended to be involved in everything, to mislead the initiator, but would never have intended to really do anything with the torture chamber.
According to the Public Prosecutor's Office, the initiator for the construction of the torture complex is the 48-year-old drug trafficker Roger P. alias Piet Costa, according to various media reports [in Dutch].
The Public Prosecutor's Office finds the statement of the suspects unbelievable and thinks that there was indeed a real torture chamber. "Everything was accounted for," said the prosecutor in the courtroom.
The two suspects, along with four others, are alleged to have made preparations for kidnapping, extortion and aggravated assault. Today was a first preparatory session in the proceedings.
Lawyers of two other suspects emphasized that their clients only did some chores such as sheeting foil and cleaning up construction waste. They did not know exactly what they were involved in.
This summer [in Dutch] the sea containers were found in Wouwse Plantage, in Noord-Brabant. The containers were soundproofed and one of them was fitted with scissors, handcuffs on the ceiling, and a chair that was screwed to the floor. Images of them went all over the world.
The police became aware of the case when officers managed to crack encrypted messages between criminals. In these EncroChat messages the containers were discussed and pictures of the torture chambers were shared.
For example, Robin van O., who sent messages under the name Slempo, wrote: "It has now been insulated three times". To which others responded with "Top". He also writes that they have to get arms ready. "Hand weapons and some automatic weapons perhaps. And with mufflers, handy if they don't cooperate." One of the suspects was called 'the Jailer' in those messages. He had the keys to the containers and was there for thirty days working on refitting the container.
Claw hammers and a pair of pruning shears
The public prosecutor listed what was found in the containers: finger clamps, scalpels, claw hammers, various pliers, a brush cutter and a branch saw, a gas burner and pruning shears. "Ice cold and shocking", she calls the finds. In the weeks that the police could follow the chats, there was also talk about possible victims. "If we thought it was necessary we warned those people," says the prosecutor. "That's how kidnappings were prevented."
The police also placed cameras outside and in the shed. They saw four of the suspects working hard to turn the growing areas of a cannabis plantation into torture chambers. The suspects also set up a large freezer and worked on cars. For example, a back seat was removed from a van.
The lawyers commented today on how the police brought the discovery of the containers to the media: "In a video with exciting music which would not look out of place on Netflix, the police raided the containers. While the police knew very well that no one was inside. The police has had cameras hanging outside the shed for weeks. So they knew exactly what they would find," said lawyer Schuurman.
In addition to the shed in Brabant, another shed was also found in Rotterdam. The messages referred to an 'AT-headquarters', pointing to the arrest team of the police. "From there you can deploy directly", someone wrote to 'Slempo'. According to the Public Prosecutor's Office, the suspects, dressed up as cops, wanted to kidnap people and take them to the torture chambers.
Police uniforms, weapons and fast cars were found in that shed. The prosecutor called it a shocking method. "The police must always be trustworthy."
All six suspects remain on remand, the court decided.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)