By Oisin Sweeney •
Published: 05 Dec 2020 • 19:56
BELGIAN Prosecutors have jailed a drug dealer who staged his own death with grisly torture photos to escape police and rival criminals.
Gabriel C, also known as Long Fingers, was a well known criminal operating in Antwerp’s lucrative drugs trade. He’d created problems from both sides of the law for himself, with the police in pursuit for a 2016 cocaine bust and the ruthless Albanian mafia hunting him down after he stole drugs from them. In the gang’s furious search for the alleged thief, hand grenades were thrown at his parent’s home while his associates had their houses machine-gunned.
He decided to produce realistic images of his dead body to trick both sides into believing he’d been tortured to death, with some forensic analysts believing professional makeup artists may have been hired. In the grisly pictures, the Belgian is chained to a chair and covered with deep cuts and bruises. The word ‘Thief’ is carved into his chest. Forensics teams were not convinced of the pictures’ authenticity despite their high production value.
The Belgian dealer has now been jailed for four years, reduced from a nine-year sentence due to his admission of guilt and his lawyer’s assertion that his young family has since taught him about ‘taking responsibility’. In 2016 he tried to pull off a similar trick, paying police in Gambia, Africa, to produce a fake death cert claiming he’d drowned in a swimming pool while traveling there. Belgium’s main port Antwerp has seen a surge in violence over recent years as a centre of Europe’s drug trade.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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