Martel containers with scalpels and saws were for the show

The containers of torture equipment at Wouwse Plantage in which abducted people could be locked up and tortured were never meant to be used. The case has to do with fraud, said chief suspect Van O., who did not explain. “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 client, but would never have intended to do anything with the torture chamber.

According to the Public Prosecutor‘s Office, the client for the construction of the torture complex is the 48-year-old drug trafficker Roger P. alias Piet Costa, according to various media reports.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office finds the accused‘s statement implausible and believes that there was a real torture chamber. “Everything was thought of,” said the prosecutor in the courtroom.

Handymen

The two suspects, along with four others, are suspected of having made preparations for kidnapping, extortion and aggravated assault. Today was a first preparatory session in the case.

Lawyers from two other defendants stressed that their clients only did some chores such as hanging film and cleaning up construction waste. They did not know exactly what they were doing.

This summer 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 bolted to the floor. Images of them went all over the world.

Encrypted messaging

The police became aware of the matter when officers managed to crack encrypted communications between criminals. In these EncroChat messages, the containers were discussed and photographs of the torture chambers were shared.

For example, Robin van O., who sent the messages under the name Slempo, wrote: “It has now been isolated three times”. To which they responded with “Top”. He also writes that they have to put weapons 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 30 days working on converting the container.

Claw hammers and pruning shears

The public prosecutor listed what was found in the containers: finger clamps, scalpels, claw hammers, various pliers, a loppers and a saw, a gas burner and pruning shears. “Ice cold and shocking“, she calls the find. In the weeks that the police were able to read along with the chats, there was also talk about possible victims. “If we thought it was necessary we warned those people,” says the officer. “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. They 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 the way 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 had had cameras hanging outside the shed for weeks. So they knew exactly what they would find,” said lawyer Schuurman.

Remand on remand extended

In addition to the shed in Brabant, a shed was also found in Rotterdam. The reports referred to an ‘AT headquarters‘, referring to the police arrest team. “From there you can go straight out”, someone wrote to ‘Slempo‘. According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the suspects wanted to kidnap people dressed as police officers and take them to the torture chambers.

Police uniforms, weapons and fast cars were found in the shed. The officer called it a disturbing method. “The police must always be reliable

All six suspects remain on remand, the court decided.

CCeit on 3 has already explained how the EncroChat crackdown can lead to more cases: