Two metal boxes bearing the inscription “Gendarme” were found in the Brussels-Charleroi canal back in May. One contained 9mm ammunition and a riot gun in a plastic bag and the other contained a handgun. They were found not far from a bridge in Ittre, near Ronquières. They were discovered by three youths who were using a metal detector to look for old objects in the canal. The youths called a hotline to report their find after VTM showed a program on the Brabant killings on Tuesday, the Mons Prosecutor revealed. Around fifty people called the hotline following the program.
The objects were handed to the police, who will examine them to determine if they were used during the Brabant killings. Investigators currently think the ammunition dates from the 1980s. Divers will inspect the section of the Brussels-Charleroi canal where the objects were found on Thursday.
The investigation into the Brabant killings, one of the biggest unsolved criminal cases in Belgium, has been talked about a lot more over the last few months. A former Gendarme from Alost, Chris B., told his brother he had been involved in the killings just before he died in 2015.
The investigation has also determined that evidence linked to the Brabant killings was thrown into the Brussels-Charleroi canal at Roquières on the 27th of October 1986 at the earliest. That’s a maximum of “8 to 10 days” before they were discovered on the 6th of November 1986. For 30 years, police believed they were disposed of early on the 11th of November 1985. This was just after the Alost massacre. Christian De Valkeneer, the Liège General Prosecutor, said it was possible someone had tried to lead them in the wrong direction.
“The Brabant killings” is the name given to a series of crimes, mostly violent armed robberies, which happened in Belgium between 1982 and 1985. 28 people were killed in total. There are several theories (organised crime, attempt to destabilise the government…) flying around to try and explain the crimes, but they have still not been solved after 30 years.