Belgian news in brief, 14 March 2006

14th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

Appeal in massive embezzlement case

Appeal in massive embezzlement case

Daisy Ragole and Laurent Demey, the main suspects in the Crédit Lyonnais fraud case, will appeal against their conviction. They were sentenced by Ghent Court at the end of February to five years jail and ordered to pay a fine of EUR 99,157.41 for embezzling EUR 87.5 million from the bank between 1982 and 1997. The public prosecution office is also expected to appeal.

Nihoul a step closer to freedom

Michel Nihoul, who was sentenced to five years in the Marc Dutroux case, could soon become a free man. The Saint-Gilles jail in Brussels, the public prosecution office and Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx have given provisional consent to his release. The commission for probationary release must now make a final decision, but is not bound to the advice. Nihoul was convicted in June 2004 on drugs charges, human smuggling and membership of a criminal gang.

Crackdown on home prostitution

Federal police in Hasselt are to crack down on prostitutes working from home. Currently, they generally elude the judiciary's supervision. The owners of sex bars near Sint-Truiden have primarily lodged complaints with police over unfair competition. The sex bars have recently been placed under intense inspections for illegal workers. Clients have therefore been seeking out private prostitutes. In response, federal police spokesman Luc Valkenborg said authorities will take tougher action against the home-based sex workers. "We have no view of what is happening in the sector," he said. "We suspect that there is some human smuggling involved."

Security breach in voicemail
Voicemail messages left on mobile phones could be targeted by criminals. Belgian firm Alunys has discovered a weak point in the security system in which messages can be tapped and even changes made to the recorded voicemail. Public broadcaster RTBF has alerted mobile phone operators and was told they are working on the problem.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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