An investigating judge has ordered the arrest of a well-known private detective, Gilbert S., in relation to gathering information about a criminal investigation on behalf of drug boss Flor Bressers, Gazet van Antwerpen reports. Bressers was extradited from Switzerland to Belgium on suspicion of being a kingpin in the organised drug trade.
The federal prosecutor’s office is currently mapping out the contacts of the drug boss, nicknamed De Lange or De Universitair. Intercepted Sky ECC encrypted messages proved that the crime boss had previously received information from Antwerp police officer Dario L. in exchange for payment.
Investigators recently unearthed evidence from the Sky ECC application that Bressers had extensive contacts within the federal judicial police. Belgian authorities conducted raids against an address in Belgium of an investigator working for Europol. The police suspect that the Europol agent accessed police databases at the request of a friend. This information was later passed on to private detective Gilbert, and on to the crime boss.
The Europol insider allegedly requested information about Bresser, his money launderer Bas K., and his ‘consigliere’ Pol Vandemeulebroucke.
Layers of subterfuge
Accused of smuggling thousands of kilos of cocaine into Europe, Bressers reportedly contacted private detective Gilbert S on numerous occasions. The private eye, from Zutendaal in Flanders, runs a reputable, government-recognised detective agency in Urmond, the Netherlands.
Bressers instructed Gilbert S. to shadow police officers involved in the Kriva Rochem case. Rochem was a shell company which operated as a front for international cocaine smuggling through the port of Antwerp.
During investigations of the company, investigators discovered 3.2 tonnes of cocaine hidden in containers. Bressers is one of the main suspects behind this case, alongside 77-year-old suspect Willem VDG.
It is unknown why the criminal gang requested that magistrates and investigators be tailed, but it may have been a bid to identify ‘snitches’ working with the police.
Detective or drug criminal?
Investigators say that the investigation into the private investigator had been ongoing for many months. Gilbert S. was first detained at the end of September 2022. He was reportedly present at a warehouse in Wilrijk, where a criminal group was unloading hundreds of kilos of cocaine which had recently arrived in the port of Antwerp. After a short pre-trial detention, Gilbert S. was allowed to return home with an ankle monitor.
Several weeks later, Gilbert S. was arrested again, this time in relation to an investigation into the network of corruption around Bressers. “He was arrested and placed under electronic surveillance,” Eric Van der Sypt, spokesperson for the federal prosecutor’s office, told Gazet van Antwerpen. The private eye is suspected of being part of a criminal organisation.
The spokesperson refused to give information on the drug gang’s Europol informant. “There was a search of the man’s house and he was interrogated. After questioning, the man was released without conditions. His exact role is still being looked into.”