The six men were detained by their own former colleagues 4 years ago after an investigation lasting several months. They were accused of having detained illegal immigrants in the Borgerhout and Antwerp-North areas of Antwerp before taking them to a secluded spot where they were the immigrants were then robbed of their cash and mobile phones. When news of the former police officers behaviour came to light the Mayor of Antwerp described it as one of the darkest pages in the history of the Antwerp Police Service.
On Tuesday three of the suspects were convicted of theft, violence and racism. They were given sentences of up to 40 months in prison and fined up to 4,500 euro. The court said that the police officers had damaged societies trust in the police service. "This is a misuse of a position of power and a misuse of the weak position their victims found themselves in”, the Antwerp court’s press spokesman Luk Versteylen said.
The three other suspect were acquitted. All six suspects have not worked as police officers since the offences for which they stood trial came to light.