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    Four held in Antwerp for kidnapping for ransom

    © Belga

    Four men are in prison this weekend in Antwerp, awaiting an appearance in court on Tuesday to face charges involving the kidnapping of a 27-year-old woman.

    On Thursday this week, a young man turned up at a police station in the port city to report that his girlfriend had been kidnapped. The man told how he himself had been snatched by four men the night before, taken to an address in a minibus and tied up, beaten and gagged.

    The gang then also picked up his girlfriend in Borgerhout in Antwerp, and told the man they were holding her until he paid off some gambling debts he owed. He was then released and went to the police.

    There followed a joint operation by the Antwerp local police, the judicial police of Antwerp and East Flanders and a special task force of the federal police. They tracked the gang to the address, liberated the woman and arrested four men: one aged 25 from Ekeren, a 25-year-old Antwerp man and his 27-year-old brother, and a 27-year-old from Hoboken.

    All four were charged with assault and abduction and detained until they appear in court on Tuesday, when a judge will decide if their detention should be prolonged.

    The woman was shaken but unharmed.

    Alan Hope
    The Brussels Times