A Belgian soldier has found himself in hot water with the Belgian army after stealing new army uniforms and selling them on the mobile retail app Vinted, RTL Info reports.
Belgium recently launched a new line of uniforms based on a “woodland” pattern, replacing the famous jigsaw camouflage design uniforms used since 1956. The army began to distribute the new design in December 2022 but many soldiers have yet to receive the new uniforms.
The new uniforms are designed to be better suited to different field conditions, as well as more accommodating for female soldiers. Personnel have deplored the delay in the uniform's rollout, which has been held up by logistical problems.
La Défense a présenté le nouveau système d’habillement opérationnel pour nos militaires. Ce système révolutionnaire, comprenant un nouveau camouflage, met l’accent sur le confort, l’ergonomie et la protection. La distribution des vêtements commencera d’ici fin 2022 pic.twitter.com/fTB5agBg5y— Belgian Defence (@BelgiumDefence) April 1, 2022
To the annoyance of the Belgian Army, one entrepreneurial soldier attempted to cash in on the new release, stealing uniforms and posting them to his Vinted profile.
“Not all our colleagues have their new uniforms yet but the first clothes are already sold online,” one soldier told Belgian daily newspaper La Dernière Heure. “When will there be legislation prohibiting such sales, just as police clothing is protected? It’s already stolen because the clothes belong to the army.”
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In the event, the soldier accused of selling the uniforms now faces criminal charges. The General Legal Department is building its case against the suspect.
“It is indeed illegal. This material is made available to staff for the exercise of their functions. Under civil law, the borrower of this uniform has the same obligations as a normal person to take care of the loaned equipment and return it after use to the lender, that is to say the Belgian Army,” the legal department of the Ministry of Defence clarified.