Antwerp police have arrested four men on Wednesday on suspicion of attempting to throw drugs over a prison wall to supply inmates.
Such offenders are becoming a more frequent problem in light of the new coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, which has made prosecutors all over the country review their operating methods, with certain prisons changing their policy when it comes to guest visitations. Now that visiting is no longer an option, suppliers of narcotics are being forced to think creatively.
The arrests follow a stakeout carried out on Wednesday, in which officers caught a 19-year-old man with cannabis hidden inside a tennis ball as he seemed particularly interested in the prison wall. As the man was being searched, a 22-year-old man arrived at the scene, claiming to be his friend. He, too, was searched and found to have €12,000 in cash in his car, along with drugs that were hidden in the same way.
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Two more men, one of whom was wanted for a previous crime, went to the same location later in the day and were found to have cash as well as hash, which is a drug made from the resin of a cannabis plant.
The drugs and money were confiscated along with telephones and a car.
Visitations are not the only coronavirus-related changes in prison. Yesterday, it was reported that some prison sentences may be postponed in order to prevent the spread of the virus inside Belgian prisons. So far, only one prisoner in Mons has tested positive. Prisoners are also contributing to the fight against the virus by manufacturing face masks.
The Brussels Times