East European gang 'organised' jail break

21st August 2006, Comments 0 comments

21 August 2006, BRUSSELS — The ringleaders of the mass jail break in Dendermonde on Saturday were members of an East European crime gang, public prosecutor Christian Du Four said.

21 August 2006

BRUSSELS — The ringleaders of the mass jail break in Dendermonde on Saturday were members of an East European crime gang, public prosecutor Christian Du Four said.

He said other members of the gang — which was mainly involved with crimes of theft — were among the escapees.

And the two ringleaders of the jail break appear to have spent a long time preparing their escape.

The two inmates levered a metal plate from their cell door that covered the door lock. They were then able to force open the lock.

They then overpowered the guard and moved to the office where two other guards were seated.

"They placed a knife at his throat and forced him to give them his keys," colleague prison warden Chris Populier said.

"The other guards were also forced to hand over their keys. The guards were then locked up in the office."

The prisoners destroyed the telephone equipment so that the guards were unable to warn prison management.

The two inmates then freed 26 other prisoners and together they escaped over the prison wall to freedom. Only nine have been recaptured. Most of the escapees were East Europeans.

Several escapees were due to appear in court on Monday. Most of them are burglars, some of them with a very violent background.

The two men who forced open their cell door had already been convicted.

Twelve of the escapees were being held on remand and 16 others were serving sentences of six months to 10 years, primarily for theft, but some of them also for violent thefts.

There were no murderers among the escapees.

The prisoners are not believed to have been assisted from the outside and prosecutor Du Four said with certainty that no guards helped them escape.

He also said it is improbable that every escapee will be re-arrested. Though he man hunt continues, Du Four said authorities would need to be very lucky to recapture everyone.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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