Armed suspects in European Quarter: Two people arrested following assault and kidnapping

Armed suspects in European Quarter: Two people arrested following assault and kidnapping
Credit: Belga / Hatim Kaghat

Two people were arrested in the search operation that took place in the European district on Monday evening, less than ten days after a stabbing took place in the Schuman metro station in this area.

A major police operation took place on Monday evening in the European district. On Tuesday morning, it was confirmed by the Brussels Public Prosecutor's Office that two people were arrested during this operation.

"Two suspects were arrested in the course of the evening. They are two men, aged 33 and 39 respectively," a statement from the office read.

Incident timeline

On 6 February, at around 18:00, the police were notified of an incident in the European district of Brussels. Initial information that has been revealed points to events taking place in the underground garage of a building in Rue Boduognat, located between Square Ambiorix and Rue de la Loi in Brussels' European Quarter.

"Here, two people were violently assaulted and then kidnapped, before the suspects fled. A firearm was allegedly used. The events appear to have taken place in the context of a second-hand sale of luxury watches," the Brussels Public Prosecutor's Office stated. 

The victims — it is unclear at the moment how they are tied to the suspects — finally managed to free themselves and alert neighbours, who called the police, which resulted in a large police operation put in place to arrest the perpetrators.

"A security perimeter was set up and several adjacent streets were blocked off, and a Federal Police helicopter came to assist." Firefighters and members of special units were also sent to the scene. The operation finally came to an end at around 23:40.

The Public Prosecutor's Office requested the help of the Federal Police laboratory, which came to the scene on Monday night. The case is expected to be referred to the investigating judge later on Tuesday. "The investigation is actively underway, and in the interest of the investigation, the Brussels public prosecutor's office will not make any further comments," the statement concluded.

The incident took place just eight days after a stabbing at the Brussels-Schuman station in the same area.

The original article was published on Monday evening, and was updated at 09:00 and 12:30 on Tuesday. A previous update referred to rape, this element has been corrected to violently assaulted.

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