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Police break up cross-border lockdown party near Ghent

Credit: Belga

A Belgian and 21 French people were caught having a lockdown party in a rented Airbnb near Ghent on Thursday night, the public prosecutor’s office of East Flanders announced.

Police learned of the party after checking a car with French licence plates in Melle (in the province of East Flanders) around 1:30 AM. The five French nationals admitted they were going to a party, the prosecutor’s office said.

At the Airbnb, 15 people were found inside the house, and another seven people were found in the garden, according to the public prosecutor’s office.

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The 18-year-old Frenchman who had rented the Airbnb was arrested and was immediately summoned to a hearing on 27 January, while the other participants were fined €750 each.

Those fines are three times as high as they used to be, after the college of public prosecutors decided on Tuesday to raise them to suppress a “clear disregard” for the rules as many lockdown parties have been broken up in Belgium as of late.

One of those also involved a cross-border situation in which over 50 people, all of them French, were caught having a sex party in a vacation house opposite a hospital in Virton (in the province of Luxembourg).

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times