Rotterdam (dpa) - A container, thickly insulated from the inside with silver foil. In the middle is an old-fashioned dentist's chair with straps to fasten your arms, handcuffs and a whole arsenal of tools to torture people.

The discovery of a secret torture chamber even shocked the hard-nosed police officers of the Dutch task force: “Fucking hell!” Calls one in the video that the police released about the spectacular operation.

On Wednesday, the day after the reconstructed sea containers were discovered, everything becomes clearer: after the initial investigations, drug dealers are behind it. According to police, the main suspect is a 40-year-old man from The Hague. He belongs to one of the leading drug gangs in the country, Dutch media report.

The police had released pictures of seven sea containers the day before, which had been converted into cells and a torture chamber. Six people were arrested. The main suspect had been under police surveillance since April, suspected of drug trafficking and preparations for liquidation. The investigators also discovered the warehouse in Wouwse Plantage in the province of Noord-Brabant in the south of the country.

From the outside everything seemed harmless. But then the Kripo got access to the now closed EncroChat network, which was mainly used by criminals. It had been cracked by European investigators - they could intercept phone and chat calls for months.

It was a shock for the Dutch. Torture is not new as a leverage in the underworld. But never before had rooms specially designed and converted for this purpose been discovered. "This is a new dimension for criminals," said a police spokesman. Guns, stolen police uniforms, blue lights and drugs were also confiscated.

The dentist's chair stood in one of the containers - like a horror movie. In addition, hedge trimmers, pliers, drills, surgical instruments and also clamps to fix individual fingers. The suspects called it the "treatment room," the police said. "If I have that on the chair, there will be more," wrote one in the chat. "But the dog disappeared without a trace."

The police had warned potential victims in good time. According to a police spokesman, they too were people from the underworld and should probably be put under pressure and blackmailed. But before the torture chamber could be used, the police took action.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 200708-99-719805 / 2

Link to video