Detective held in Belgian abuse case (26.08.96)

The Independent, 26th August 1996
by Matthew Brace
A police detective was arrested yesterday in connection with the inquiry into Belgium’s child sex scandal.Georges Zicot is the seventh person to be arrested since the scandal first came to light almost two weeks ago.

Police did not implicate him in child abuse but said he was an associate of the chief suspect, Marc Dutroux, who has admitted kidnapping and abusing children.

The Public Prosecutor, Michel Bourlet, said: “Georges Zicot was arrested and will be charged with truck theft, insurance fraud and document forgery.”

Mr Bourlet added that two other people had been arrested and that there had been a search of the judicial police headquarters in Charleroi, the southern Belgian town near Dutroux’s home. He said one of the other two arrested was the owner of a warehouse where stolen vehicles were allegedly stored. The other was an insurer.

Mr Bourlet said an investigation into a vehicle theft ring would be added to the inquiry into the paedophile sex scandal. Another four people were questioned at the weekend but were not detained, he added.

The child sex scandal first became public when two teenage girls were rescued from a sound-proof cellar where they had been imprisoned, one of them for three months.

Their discovery gave police hope that two other missing teenage girls, who vanished from Ostend a year ago, might also be found alive.

The two men at the centre of the paedophile investigation – Dutroux, an electrician and convicted child rapist, and Michel Lelievre, his associate – have admitted kidnapping the girls.

However, the gruesome discovery of the bodies of two more young girls just over a week ago in the grounds of a house owned by Dutroux in the village of Sars-la-Buissiere, concentrated the police effort. Police confirmed the two girls had starved to death.

In The Netherlands, police in acting on a tip-off held a 74-year-old Dutchman in connection with the Belgian scandal. Two firearms were found in his house in Amstelveen near Amsterdam.

The child sex scandal has rocked Belgium. There have been angry scenes and public outpourings of emotion throughout the country as its population tries to come to terms with the tragedy.

  1. Troyhand said:,5510035
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette [Pennsylvania, USA] – Aug 24, 1996
    Child abuse tapes seized

    BRUSSELS, Belgium – Police have seized hundreds of video tapes showing a suspect in the disappearances of several young girls as he sexually abused children, the chief prosecutor in the case said yesterday. Marc Dutroux, 38, was arrested Aug. 15 after two girls, 12 and 14, were found alive, but sexually abused, in his cellar in Marcinelle. He later led police to the bodies of two 8-year-old girls buried in his garden on another property. Dutroux admitted to kidnapping two other teenagers, who remain missing.,8368051
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette [Pennsylvania, USA] – Aug 26, 1996
    Child sex ring shocks Europe
    By Jeremy Lovell (Reuters News Service)
    Officer questioned on ties with suspect

    BRUSSELS, Belgium – A child sex scandal which has shocked Belgium to the core took a new twist when investigators arrested a senior police detective in connection with the case.

    The arrest added weight to widespread speculation that a pedophile gang, suspected of being led by convicted rapist Marc Dutroux, must have received high-placed protection.

    The scandal, involving kidnapping, killing and pedophile pornography, sent waves of revulsion across Europe, triggered an international manhunt and prompted widespread recriminations.

    Two kidnapped 8-year-old girls have been found dead, two other girls have been rescued and police are hunting at least two more girls who have been missing for a year.

    Police have seized more than 300 pedophile video tapes – some featuring Dutroux – quantities of magazines, children’s clothing and drugs used topacify the young victims.

    Dutroux, convicted in 1989 for multiple child rape, and associate Michel Lelievre have been charged with abduction and illegal imprisonment.

    Michelle Martin, Dutroux’ second wife, has been charged as an accomplice and three men are facing charges of criminal association.

    But the arrest yesterday of Chief Detective Georges Zicot, a specialist in tackling vehicle theft in the southern city of Charlerol, added a new dimension to the scandal.

    Georges Zicot was arrested and will be charged with truck theft, insurance fraud and document forgery,” Public Prosecutor Michel Bourlet told a news conference.

    He said two other people were also arrested – Gerard Pignon, owner of a warehouse where the stolen vehicles were stored, and insurer Thierry Dehaan.

    Bourlet said Zicot’s connection was through BernardWeinstein, an accomplice of Dutroux. “Dutroux has admitted killing Weinstein after a disagreement between the accomplices in an affair of truck theft,” he said.

    Weinstein was found dead last weekend with the bodies of 8-year-olds Julie Lejeune and Melissa Russo in a house mear Charleroi belonging to Dutroux, who said they starved to death nine months after being abducted in June 1995.

    Two girls, Laetitia Delhaz and Sabine Dardenne, were rescued from a dungeon in another of Dutroux’s six houses 10 days ago and police are hunting for at least two more, An Marchel and Eefje Lambrecks, whom Dutroux has admitted kidnapping a year ago.

    Bourlet said the investigation into the vehicle theft ring would be added to the inquiry into the pedophile sex scandal.

    Anne Thily, public prosecutor in the eastern city of Liege where Julie and Melissa lived, told the news conference this was a major case involving some 50 investigators, including two from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    Police in South Africa are cooperating with the FBI in investigations into a suspected child pornography trade spanning the United States, South Africa and Europe.

    Recriminations have steadily built up over how Dutroux managed to remain at liberty for so long – with allegations of protection in high places. Leaked police documents catalogue a high degree of police bungling, incompetence and indifference.

    Officials have admitted they had Dutroux in custody last December in connection with car theft and the brief kidnapping of three teenagers. He was let go in March without a full investigation.

    Alsom some case workers opposed Dutroux’s release from prison in 1992 after serving part of a 13-year jail term for rape.

    There is also widespread disbelief that no one appeared to question how Dutroux, an unemployed father of three, with no visible means of support, managed to own so many homes.

    Justice Minister Stefaan De Clerck has admitted that mistakes were made and ordered and inquiry.

    Thily said the fate of An and Eefje remained a mystery. The media has speculated that they were sold into prostitution in Slovakia or the Czech Republic where Dutroux was a frequent visitor. Belgian police have been to Bratislava and Prague.

  2. Troyhand said:
    Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland) > November 17, 1996


    A high-ranking government minister in Belgium has been accused of sexually abusing children.

    The news emerged yesterday as police confirmed that two house searches had uncovered more pornographic videos.

    But they refused to say if the films gave any clues on the involvement of Belgian government officials in the murderous paedophile ring that has rocked the country.

    A spokesman would only say: “It could lead us to paedophile crimes or the cassettes might only include homosexual acts.”

    The house searches in Brussels were launched two weeks after the first rumours surfaced that high-ranking officials might be involved in the ring that has killed four children and left 12 missing.

    And the swoops came as Belgian newspapers published allegations against a vice-premier of the federal government and a minister from the regional government.

    Belgium has been in a state of shock over the scandal.

    Convicted child-rapist Marc Dutroux is in jail, accused of kidnapping six girls, aged from eight to 19.

    Four were killed while two were rescued by police after Dutroux’s arrest in August.

    Public outrage led to a march by 250,000 people in Brussels last month.

    The demonstration has provoked the government into promising a drastic overhaul of the justice system, which Belgian people say they no longer trust.

    There has been further fury over revelations of ineptitude and corruption.

    A senior police officer has been charged with working with Dutroux in a stolen car racket.

    And rumours have raged about a cover-up to protect rich and powerful paedophiles.

    The police swoops in a rundown Brussels neighbourhood did NOT involve the home of a minister.

    Government ministers enjoy parliamentary immunity which forbids police searches without special approval.

  3. Troyhand said:
    Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland) > August 25, 1996


    Scots police are to pass on vital evidence to detectives probing the Belgian house of horror child-sex killings.

    Sickening kiddie porn videos snatched from a Scots paedophiles flat are to be studied by Interpol.

    Now the tapes – involving children as young as 12 – may feature in a Euro-wide porn probe sparked by the Belgian child-sex scandal .

    Detectives are set to quiz Scots pervert Kevin Drumgoole about his regular trips to the Continent…

    And his possible links with Belgian sex beast Marc Dutroux. Two eight- year-old girls starved to death in his Belgian home, and two other girls were rescued from a dungeon in the cellar.

    The tapes snatched from Drumgoole’s Edinburgh flat show sick sex scenes involving young boys believed to be from Belgium, Germany and Holland.

    Depraved Drumgoole picked up the youngsters as they arrived in Edinburgh on back-packing trips.

    He befriended them, took them to his flat and plied them with drink before sexually abusing them. Now Euro detectives probing the Belgian sex killings will study the videos.

    Drumgoole was jailed for 18 months last year after he admitted molesting dozens of teenage tourists.

    He admitted six charges involving sex assaults on youngsters, and another charge covering 20 incidents involving unknown youths.

    Last night Lothian and Borders Police said: “We have been contacted by Interpol and have sent on information to the Belgian police.”

    The police think Drumgoole, who could be released from jail within WEEKS, may have sexually abused more than 80 foreign backpackers.

    He plied the boys with booze until they were out cold, then filmed himself committing sex acts on them.

    Devious Drumgoole even visited some of his victims at their homes all over Europe and met their parents.

    Edinburgh detectives discovered a hoard of more than 50 porn videos featuring more than 80 youngsters in Drumgoole’s flat in Milton Street.

    On one occasion he filmed himself sexually abusing twin 17-year-old brothers from Holland.

    Meanwhile it has emerged that Belgian police had Dutroux in custody last December in connection with the kidnapping of three teenagers, but let him go without fully checking him out.

    A newspaper quoted the police in Charleroi, south of Brussels, as saying: “We were convinced it only related to a case of car theft.”

    Dutroux, 38, has admitted kidnapping and sexually abusing young girls.

    He has also admitted offering accomplices pounds 1,000 to kidnap children for him.

    Five others have been arrested, including his wife, Michele Martin.

    And hundreds of tapes have been seized, some of them showing Dutroux abusing young girls.

  4. Troyhand said:
    Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland) > May 11, 1997

    Perv back to haunt youngsters.

    An evil pervert jailed for sex offences against foreign boys is back in his old haunt

    Twisted paedophile Kevin Dromgoole is living with his mum… only a few miles from where he ran boys’ clubs in the past.

    Sleazy Dromgoole moved into mum Mary’s house weeks after being released from prison.

    He was jailed for 18 months in 1995 after he admitted molesting teenage tourists.

    He lured young backpackers to his seedy flat and impressed them with claims that he knew top pop stars like U2 and Rod Stewart. He plied

    the boys – aged between 14 and 17 with drink – then filmed himself carrying out sick sex acts.

    Friends thought he had disappeared abroad where the sex laws aren’t as strict.

    But the Sunday Mail can reveal that the sicko is living in Dunipace, near Falkirk.

    Dromgoole was a leading light in boys’ clubs in nearby Denny in the 1970s, where he coached hundreds of youngsters. Shortly after he was jailed, some contacted us to reveal how Dromgoole used to order them to strip NAKED before WEIGHING them.

    Last night one boy who used to attend Dromgoole’s St Alex-ander’s Boys’ Club, said: “I can’t believe he’s had the nerve to come back here.

    “He is a horrible man who has ruined a lot of young lives.”

    Last night, Dromgoole said: “I did something wrong and I have done my time for it.

    “I am sorry for what I did and what it did to my family.

    “My mother has suffered a lot from all this.”

    Last year, we revealed that Scots police passed on vital information about him to detectives probing the Belgian house of horror child- sex killings.

    Sickening kiddie porn tapes seized from his flat in Edinburgh are being studied by Interpol.

    The tapes show sick sex scenes involving young boys believed to be from Belgium, Germany and Holland.

    Now Interpol are probing possible links between Dromgoole and Belgian sex beast Marc Dutroux.

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