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Dutch Police Arrest 6 Men After Discovery of 'Torture Chambers'

This screen grab taken from video and made available by the Dutch police July 7, 2020, shows the interior of a shipping container outfitted as a torture chamber, in Wouwse Plantage, Netherlands.

Dutch police announced Tuesday they arrested six men after discovering shipping containers that had been converted into a makeshift prison and sound-proofed "torture chamber."

In their statement, officials said they discovered seven converted sea shipping containers in a warehouse in Wouwse Plantage, a small village in the southwestern part of the Netherlands, close to the border with Belgium.

Law enforcement authorities released video Tuesday showing a special police unit opening the shipping containers to reveal a specially rigged dentists’ chair, along with tools that included pliers, scalpels and handcuffs.

Police say the discoveries were originally made last month after investigating leads generated by data from encrypted telephones used by criminals that were cracked recently by French police. Detectives in Britain and the Netherlands have already arrested hundreds of suspects based on the encrypted messages.

The police said they were tipped off by messages from an EncroChat phone that included photos of the container and dentist's chair with belts attached to the arm and foot supports. They arrested six men June 22, on suspicion of crimes including planning kidnappings and serious assault.

The messages called the warehouse the "treatment room" and the "ebi," a reference to a top security Dutch prison. Police said the messages also revealed identities of potential victims, who were warned and went into hiding.

Dutch authorities said last week that their investigation, codenamed 26Lemont, based on millions of messages from the EncroChat phones, had led to the arrest of more than 100 suspects and the seizure of more than 8,000 kilograms of cocaine and 1,200 kilograms of crystal meth, as well as the dismantling of 19 synthetic drug labs and the seizure of dozens of firearms.