‘Finger cutter’ drug lord arrested in Switzerland – The Guardian
Flor Bressers, on Belgian and Europol most-wanted lists, has been on the run since 2020
Last modified on Fri 18 Feb 2022 17.28 EST
One of Europe’s most-wanted drug lords, a Belgian with a master’s degree in criminology, has been arrested in Switzerland after two years on the run.
Flor Bressers, 35, nicknamed “the finger cutter”, has been sought since 2020 when he was given a four-year jail sentence for kidnapping, slashing with a razor and beating a Dutch florist who failed to smuggle drugs past UK customs.
He was prosecuted previously in 2010 in Limburg for allegedly cutting off the finger of a Dutch criminal with pruning shears. He was acquitted for lack of evidence, but the alleged incident earned him his nickname.
Bressers has been linked via numerous cases to a narcotics gang operating in Antwerp believed to have smuggled tonnes of cocaine from South America to Europe.
He was on both a Belgian and Europol most-wanted list for kidnapping, illegal restraint and hostage-taking and participation in a criminal organisation.
It was thought Bressers had been hiding in South Africa but he was arrested in Zurich where he was found with his partner and child. The Belgian authorities have requested his extradition.
Kristof Aerts, a spokesman for prosecutors in Antwerp, said Bressers was linked to ongoing judicial investigations in Antwerp, West Flanders and East Flanders.
He said: “Serious organised crime is the common thread here. These include investigations into the international trafficking of drugs in which the violence was committed.
“Last night, the fugitive was arrested in Switzerland. The arrest, carried out by special units and with the help of other Swiss police forces, is the result of an intensive manhunt that lasted several months.”
Experts have warned that the extreme violence of the drug cartels operating in Mexico and Colombia has been exported to Europe in recent years.
Earlier this month, prosecutors in Amsterdam said recreational drug users should reflect on the discovery of a soundproofed torture chamber in Wouwse Plantage in Brabant, in the Netherlands.
In the shipping container, detectives had found a refashioned dentist’s chair, with straps for tying arms and legs, finger clamps, scalpels, claw hammers, pliers, loppers, pruning shears, gas burners, tie wraps and duct tape.