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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Belgium. Police surrounded the home of Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne

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Belgian police cordoned off the home of Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne on Wednesday evening because of a “serious threat” from drug traffickers, media reported. The services declined to comment on the case.

The police declined to comment, as did the prosecutor’s office. “For the sake of the investigation, we will not provide any information,” Eric Van Der Sypt, a spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s office, told the Belgian daily Het Laatste Nieuws.

Sources from VTM Nieuws TV and Het Laatste Nieuws newspaper say the threat comes from drug trafficking circles and is “serious enough to put a tight police cordon around” the politician’s house in Kortrijk in the north Belgium and close the surrounding access roads.

They planned to kidnap the deputy prime minister

The media recall that four Dutchmen were arrested in September who planned to kidnap Vincent Van Quickenborne. Earlier, machine guns, adhesive tapes and explosives were found in a car parked in front of his house.

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Van Quickenborne, 49, is a member of the Flemish Liberals and Democrats (Open VLD) party, and has been Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice since 2020. He is also the mayor of Kortrijk.

Vincent Van QuickenborneREMKO DE WAAL/EPA/PAP

Belgium a “drug-state”?

The French daily Le Monde recently wrote that Belgium could become a “drug-state”. The newspaper recalled the murders, kidnappings and threats that are the result of fighting between rival drug criminals in this country.

The British weekly The Economist, on the other hand, points out that Belgium already has a reputation as the European center of the cocaine trade.

Main photo source: REMKO DE WAAL/EPA/PAP

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