The Namur prosecutor’s office on Thursday requested four and six-year prison sentences for two defendants who transported 57 kgs. of cocaine as part of the activities of a criminal gang.
On 2 April 2022, police officers driving on a motorway service area of the E411 near Gembloux were stopped by a Dutch-registered vehicle travelling at an abnormally slow speed. They decided to check the car’s occupants, who seemed nervous, but the men reversed the vehicle and fled, initiating a chase with the police.
The vehicle sped off at nearly 212 km/h, putting the lives of police officers and other road users in danger, before being arrested in Daussoulx.
Fifty-seven kilos of cocaine were found in the car.
When questioned, the driver explained that he thought he was carrying cannabis and panicked at the sight of the police. He did not want to say who had given him the drugs, for fear of reprisals, after being threatened in Dinant prison.
He was to receive €3,000 for this transport, he said. The passenger of the vehicle, who was to receive €1,500, also declined to comment on the source of the drugs.
The car they used was a rental vehicle that had been travelling around Belgium for a month prior to their arrest. The defendant’s telephone records confirmed these journeys.
The defence pleaded for a probationary suspended sentence for the period exceeding the one-year preventive detention already served by the driver, “who was not aware he was transporting cocaine.”
A simple suspended sentence was requested for the second defendant.
Judgement is on 20 April.