Antwerp drugs gang kidnaps and assaults wrong man in a case of mistaken identity

A man from Antwerp was kidnapped and held prisoner for a day by a drugs gang that had mistaken him for his neighbour. The news first appeared in Friday’s edition of the daily ‘Gazet van Antwerpen’ and has since been confirmed by the Judicial Authorities. 

The incident happened 10 days ago. The man from the Wilrijk district of Antwerp was driving his car when another vehicle pulled up in front of him and blocked his path. Passers-by saw him be pushed and dragged into the back of a van. They called the police, and an investigation was launched.

‘Gazet van Antwerpen’s’ crime reporter Joris Van der Aa told VRT News that the kidnappers had been given orders to take a man that lived at a certain address. Their target was in fact a man that lives in another flat in the same building as the victim. It soon become clear that the man that had been kidnapped had no known connection to any form of criminal activity whatsoever. 

“However, there were people living at that address that are part of a big drugs investigation and have been electronically tagged”.

Soon the kidnappers realised that they had taken the wrong man and he was released the next day. However, the man had been assaulted by his kidnappers. “He was tied to a chair, and this was filmed”.

The gang sent the images to the girlfriend of their intended target. She is also a target for the gang. The gang sent her a clear message “Give us our drugs or else”, Mr Van der Aa told VRT News. The crime reporter added that he believes that the victim of the kidnapping is now residing at a safe house. 

Couple suspected of drug smuggling

Joris Van der Aa says that the couple is being targetted by the gang as it suspects them of having made a quantity of drugs disappear of having stolen drugs. The police also has the couple in its sights as they are suspected of drug smuggling.

“The couple work for companies that are active at the port”, Mr Van der Aa told VRT News. He added that kidnappings of this nature are commonplace in the Antwerp drugs underworld. He added that several previous attacks on properties in and around Antwerp were carried out by the same gang. A

fter the kidnapping those that carried it out returned to the Boomsesteenweg in Wilrijk where they had hoped to carry out an attack. However, this was twarted by police and men from The Netherlands were detained.


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