TV presenter arrested in Breda for drug trafficking

Police guard in a detention center
Police guard in a detention center. (Photo: Politie)

Former TV presenter Frank Masmeijer, suspected of trafficking cocaine through the port of Antwerp, was arrested in a hotel in Breda on Tuesday. According to Masmeijers' Dutch lawyer, Geert-Jan Knoops, Belgium recently issued an arrest warrant for his client in connection with the drug trafficking case, NU.nl reports.

"We will challenge the legality of this [arrest warrant] in the procedure that will happen here in the Netherlands about the extradition to Belgium", Knoops said to NU.nl. According to AD, Masmeijer will be arraigned on Thursday afternoon in Amsterdam. The magistrate will then decide whether the man will be extradited.

Last year the court in Antwerp sentenced 57-year-old Masmeijer to eight years in prison and a fine of 48 thousand euros for his role in smuggling 467 kilograms of cocaine through the port of Antwerp. Masmeijer appealed. According to him, there is no evidence for the accusations. The appeal in this case is scheduled to start on November 16th. 

Masmeijer has been awaiting his appeal in freedom so far, but risks arrest if he enters Belgium, Knoops said to NU.nl. On the advice of his lawyers, the former presenter therefore decided not to attend his appeal. His presence is not required and the toll on him will be too high if he has to go back to prison, the lawyer said. 

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