Dutch police arrested six men after conducting a raid on sea containers that had been converted into a homemade prison and torture chamber complete with a dentist’s chair and tools, a high ranking police officer said Tuesday.
Authorities said police raided the makeshift prison and torture chamber before they could be used and informed potential victims, who then went into hiding, the Associated Press reported. Dutch national police officers reportedly arrested the six men June 22 on suspicion of kidnapping and assault.
The discovery was made last month after investigative officers decoded encrypted messages using the EncroChat secure communication tool, which police forces across Europe have already used to arrest hundreds of organized crime suspects, according to The Washington Post.
Using the code name 26Lemont, the police decrypted messages from an EncroChat phone that included pictures of the sea containers and the dentist’s chair, and referred to the makeshift prison as the “treatment room” and the “ebi,” a reference to Nieuw Vosseveld maximum-security prison, the Associated Press reported.
During the raid, a heavily-armed arrest team blasted down the doors of seven sea containers located in a warehouse in a small village near the border of Belgium called Wouwse Plantage, according to the Associated Press.
A search of the containers revealed hedge cutters, scalpels and pliers, which police say “were likely intended to torture victims.” (RELATED: Dutch Police Arrest 7 Men Who Were Preparing For A Major Attack)
Andy Kraag, head of the country’s National Investigation Service, stated at a news conference last week that there were indications of a torture device, although the police did not disclose the full nature of the investigation, according to Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad.
In a police report Tuesday, Kragg stated that “six of the containers were intended as cells in which people could be tied up and one container was intended as a torture chamber.” He also praised the success of the 26Lemont investigation, the Associated Press reported.
A court in Amsterdam has ordered the six suspects to be detained for 90 days as investigations continue in the city of Rotterdam, which was a base of operations for the criminals according to the Associated Press.