Belgian convict recaptured in NL
31 October 2007, THE HAGUE (AFP) - A notorious criminal who escaped from a Belgian prison after a hijacked helicopter crash-landed inside the prison grounds was recaptured Tuesday in The Hague after a holdup, Dutch police said.
31 October 2007
THE HAGUE (AFP) - A notorious criminal who escaped from a Belgian prison after a hijacked helicopter crash-landed inside the prison grounds was recaptured Tuesday in The Hague after a holdup, Dutch police said.
Serial escapee Nordine Ben Allal had managed to flee in a car after the helicopter crash caused confusion and threw up billows of smoke in the grounds of the Ittre prison some 40 kilometres south of the Belgian capital on Sunday.
Police spokesman Wim Hoonhout said here late Tuesday two men had been pursued by police after a holdup in a motorcycle showroom and had been arrested after officers fired warning shots.
"It was only in the police station that Ben Allal was identified," he added. The identity of his accomplice was not known.
"Contacts will be made on Wednesday with Belgium on turning him over to the authorities," Hoonhout said.
According to initial police enquiries, the daring prison raid began late afternoon on Sunday when four armed and hooded men burst into the premises of a nearby enterprise where a prototype helicopter was being worked on.
The assailants seized the mechanics, allowing them to leave after hijacking the aircraft and forcing the pilot to fly it into the prison grounds.
The helicopter crash-landed, injuring one inmate, who may have been attempting to board.
Ben Allal's accomplice aboard threw the convict a firearm and the pair escaped, briefly taking two prison guards hostage as they fled, while other prison warders were attending the injured man.
They escaped in a waiting car which was later found abandoned nearby.
Ben Allal, who has a string of convictions for violent crime, has gained a reputation for escaping prisons, including in 2004 when two police officers were injured during an escape.
[Copyright AFP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news. Belgian news