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Dozens fined after lockdown gathering in Antwerp synagogue

© Belga

Antwerp police busted over two dozen people at a lockdown gathering on Sunday, closing off a weekend heavy in coronavirus violations and sparking criticism from Mayor Bart De Wever.

Several of the attendees scrambled to attempt to hide or escape from police but a total of 43 were caught at the event, which took place in a synagogue in the central district of Deurne.

“There were very many people in a small room far too close to each other, we had to draw up reports,” Wouter Bruyns, a police spokesperson, told De Morgen.

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“When we went further into an even smaller room, we saw that another number of people had gone there to hide from police,” he added.

The incident came during a busy weekend for police in the Flemish province, who had to break up a total of nine lockdown parties this weekend at which a combined 74 people were caught.

On Sunday, police fined all 43 attendees and said there were five children among those present. The adults will be summoned to court at a later and risk prosecution for violating coronavirus rules and the nationwide ban on large gatherings.

Antwerp Mayor Bart De Wever said violators would not be spare, chiding those who “hid from the police” for their “damaging” actions.

“We have good agreements with prosecutors and offenders will be prosecuted, and not in a minor way.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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