Belgian criminal sends ‘greetings from Thailand’ postcard to prison he escaped from

Oualid Sekkaki has been on the run since making getaway from prison in Antwerp province in December

Jon Stone
Brussels
Friday 24 January 2020 17:17 GMT
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Turnhout prison in Belgian Flanders, where the man escaped from
Turnhout prison in Belgian Flanders, where the man escaped from (AFP/Getty)

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A man who escaped from a Belgian prison last month has taunted his former jailers by sending them a postcard with the message “Greetings from Thailand”.

Oualid Sekkaki was one of five convicts to escape from Turnhout prison in Antwerp province on 19 December by climbing over the prison wall to a getaway car parked nearby.

“A registered letter from him arrived in prison,” a prison guard told Belgian outlet HLN.

“The letter was addressed to the three directors. In the envelope was his prison badge and a postcard with [the words] ‘Greetings from Thailand’.”

Three of those who escaped were captured near the jail the following evening, while a fourth made it out of the country but was detained by police in Nijmegen in the Netherlands in January.

There was no sign of Mr Sekkaki, however, until the postcard showed up on Monday. The correspondence was believed to be genuine because it was sent by registered post and accompanied by Mr Sekkaki’s prison badge.

It is not fully clear whether the escapee is actually in Thailand, or whether his badge was sent there through other means – perhaps to throw off his pursuers.

A spokesperson for the prison said: “I can say that the local management has received correspondence with Sekkaki as the sender.

“All information regarding an escaped prisoner is transmitted to the police services responsible for tracing the person concerned.”

According to the Belgian newspaper De Morgen, Mr Sekkaki, who was born in Morocco, was arrested in January 2017 after police found 25,000 ecstasy pills in his car. He was also wanted for questioning over a previous shooting incident.

Mr Sekkaki is the younger brother of Ashraf Sekkaki, who has escaped several times from prison. During one incident in 2009, the older brother used a hijacked helicopter to escape from a prison in Brugge.

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