Dutch police arrested six men after discovering shipping containers that had been converted into a makeshift prison and sound-proofed "torture chamber" complete with a dentist's chair, and tools including pliers, scalpels, and handcuffs, a high-ranking officer announced Tuesday. Authorities said police conducted the raid before the torture chamber could be used and alerted potential victims, who went into hiding. The grisly discovery was made last month by officers investigating leads generated by data from encrypted phones used by drug traffickers, the AP reports. The communications network was cracked recently by French police. Detectives discovered the seven converted sea containers in a warehouse in Wouwse Plantage, a small village in the southwestern Netherlands.
They were tipped off by messages from an EncroChat phone including photos of the containers. "Six of the containers were intended as cells in which people could be tied up and one container was intended as a torture chamber,” Andy Kraag, head of the police's National Investigation Service, said in a video released by police. A search of the containers uncovered bags containing tools that “were likely intended to torture victims or at least put them under pressure," the police statement said. In searches of other properties, officers found police uniforms and body armor, stolen vehicles, firearms, and drugs. Police say the encrypted messages have led to the arrest of more than 100 suspects, the seizure of drugs including more than 17,000 pounds of cocaine, and the dismantling of 19 drug labs.
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