Customs officer crashes patrol van into Antwerp harbour

Customs officer crashes patrol van into Antwerp harbour

An Antwerp customs officer is in hot water after an attempt to hack a Volkswagon patrol van's speed sensor sent the vehicle careening through a garage gate and into the harbour.

The Antwerp fire brigade answered a call at about 01:22 Monday morning to retrieve the patrol van from the water near customs buildings near the water in the Eilandje district, Gazet van Antwerpen reports. A crane truck hoisted the Volkswagon Transporter out of the water.

The customs officer allegedly sabotaged the van's rear speed sensor to disable the built-in speed governor. According to online message boards, the speed sensors on Volkswagon vans are notorious for going bad. The customs officer attempted to take advantage of this defect to disable the van's speed regulator. 

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When testing his work, the officer put the van's key into the ignition, and the van suddenly sped through the garage door into the water. Police suspect the van was in gear when the ignition turned. The garage was also damaged during the incident.

Customs officials did not provide many details other than saying the officer preferred using a sportier Skoda RS patrol vehicle.

Antwerp police filed a report for the traffic accident and material damage to the building. Customs officials also filed a complaint with the police department against the customs officer. Customs officials said an investigation continues, but disciplinary action will occur.

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