Man who escaped from prison in Turnhout recaptured in the Netherlands
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Man who escaped from prison in Turnhout recaptured in the Netherlands

Sekkaki, left, still at large. Baghat, right, back behind bars. Belgian police flyer.

One of the five men who escaped from prison in Turnhout last month has been recaptured by police in Nijmegen in the Netherlands, Dutch police report.

Three of the escapees were caught soon after escaping on 19 December. Two remained at large. The man in question has not been named, but was described as a man of 38, which identifies him as Abderrahim Baghat, born in 1981. He was serving a sentence of 4.5 years in Turnhout for crimes against property, and had four years left to serve. He was found on the basis of information given by Belgian federal police to their Dutch colleagues. They reported he had been holed up in the attic at an address in Nijmegen, some 114km from Turnhout.

The five men managed to scale a five-metre wall of the prison. It is thought they climbed on a roof to reach a blind spot which security cameras could not see.

Four of the men have now been returned to prison. Under Belgian law, they face no penalty for trying to escape, or in Baghat’s case, for escaping successfully for over two weeks.

The remaining escapee is Oualid Sekkaki, aged 26, and a member of a family of notoriously difficult prisoners. Oualid’s older brother Ashraf has the reputation as the escape king of Belgium, having escaped from Bruges prison a decade ago with the help of a confederate and a hijacked helicopter which plucked him from the prison’s exercise yard.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

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