Dutch police foil prison break plan ‘which involved hijacked helicopter’

Police badge and radio.

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One man was shot dead when police foiled what they say was an attempt to free a gang member from jail in Limburg by hijacking a helicopter.

Police said at a news conference on Wednesday evening that three other men had been arrested in connection with the escape plan while others are still being hunted. The man shot dead was attempting to evade arrest.

The three who were picked up had ‘various items’ with them which could have been used in an escape attempt, police told reporters, but gave no further details.

Detectives stumbled on the plot to free the man – said by NOS and the AD to be Amsterdam criminal Benaouf A – during another investigation. The three who have been arrested are said to have been planning to hijack a helicopter in Limburg and fly to the prison in Roermond to release A.

Police said the hijack attempt had been foiled by police but did not say if an actual helicopter was involved.

A was sentenced to 12 years in jail on appeal in May 2016 for his role in the murder of another Amsterdam criminal, Najeb BouhBouh in Antwerp in 2012.