Suspected drug war explosion rocks Antwerp street for eighth time

Suspected drug war explosion rocks Antwerp street for eighth time
Credit: Belga

The home of a known drug trade-connected family in Antwerp was targeted with explosives early in the morning on Tuesday, Het Laatste Nieuws reports. This is the eighth time since 2019 that homes on the street have been targeted by criminal gangs. On 4 November, a property on the street was targeted in an identical late-night grenade attack.

The address on Deken de Winterstraat in the southern Antwerp municipality of Berchem, home to the “EH family”, sustained significant damage to the front door. No one was injured in the incident, but all signs suggest that the attack was linked to organised drug crime. At the same time of the attack, another address in Merksem was attacked.

After the explosion, the police checked the area and set up a perimeter. The Federal Judicial police may take over the investigation due to the repeated nature of the crime. In recent months, multiple properties, often owned by the EH family, have been targeted with grenades. The EH family are said to have strong ties to the drug trade.

In November, two Dutch men aged 22- and 27-years-old were arrested near Breda in connection with an explosion in the Antwerp district of Wilrijk. The men were in a car with a Dutch licence plate that drove away after the explosion, which was caught on CCTV. The police secretly placed a camera in front of the property after a device went off in the same street a few days prior.

A drug war between rival gangs has been affecting Antwerp for several years, with increased involvement of Dutch nationals and gangs. In October, a grenade and a handgun were recovered from a stopped vehicle with Dutch licence plates in the city. Two people were arrested.

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