The boy was kidnapped by heavily armed men at his home in Genk on the night of Monday 20 April. A sizable ransom, reported to be in the region of 5 million euro, was demanded. The 7 suspects were detained this morning. An Examining Magistrate will decide whether they are to remain in custody.
Initially it had been rumoured that the kidnapping could have been linked to drugs. The boy’s father has a conviction for drug offences and the boy’s uncle is currently serving a prison sentence. The theory was that the kidnapped believed that the family had a lot of money from the trade in illicit drugs.
However, it has now transpired that the suspects are radicalised Muslims. Whether this is connected to the kidnapping remains to be seen.
The Judicial Authorities are not providing much information about their investigation. What we do know is that 12 properties were searched, including 4 in Antwerp and others in Zutendaal, Houthalen and Maaseik (Limburg Province).