Antwerp Police Commissioner Arrested

Antwerp: The Antwerp Federal Police Commissioner and head of the Diamond Squad, Agim De Bruycker, has been arrested and held on suspicion of money laundering after the discovery of diamonds and gold worth €50,000 ($55,000) in his home.

According to reports in the Belgian press, the commissioner declined to explain how he had obtained the large amount of diamonds and gold.

The Het Laatste Nieuws said suspicions about De Bruycker were raised after he bought a new villa and a luxury Range Rover.

The commissioner, who has been part of the Diamond Squad since it was established in 2000, has been involved in a number of high-profile investigations in Belgium, including the recent HSBC tax evasion banking scandal.

According to De Standaard, several sources claimed that the commissioner had always been irreproachable and was dedicated to fighting organized fraud and money laundering, particularly in the Antwerp diamond industry.

However, the paper also said that this is not the first incident involving the Diamond Unit. In one such incident, the Lion’s Diamond Company claimed that diamonds worth $1.6 million disappeared when they confiscated during an investigation into conflict diamonds. When the company was acquitted of the charges, the diamonds they received in return were not the same as those that were taken from them.

De Standaard also said that according to police and justice sources, the fall of De Bruycker will have significant consequences for the fight against fraud in the diamond industry. “This signifies the death blow,” the paper quoted one prosecutor as saying.