The hijackers hired the helicopters last Friday saying they wanted to take aerial photographs, but once in the air the pilot was forced to fly to Brussels at gunpoint. The hijackers had clearly planned to execute a jail-break, but had ordered a ‘large’ helicopter that was unable to touch down on the prison courtyard.
After the aborted jail-break attempt the helicopter touched down in Hélécine in Walloon Brabant where the hijackers disappeared without trace.
The main suspect is a 24-year-old from Tongeren (Limburg), who was out of jail but under electronic surveillance (tagging). His father (50), an 18 and a 22-year-old have also been held. First indications suggest that the main suspect had the ambition of freeing his wife from the women’s prison in Vorst. The two met in the visitors area at Hasselt jail where he was serving a sentence from drug trafficking.
Investigators are looking into charges of theft by a criminal gang using weapons, membership of a criminal gang, abduction and flight from justice.