During a desperate effort to escape being brought to account, a drug addict failed to fake his own death successfully.
In Belgium, known as “Lange Vingers” (Long Fingers), the infamous criminal named Gabriel C staged photos of himself being “tortured to death, along with the word “thief” carved into his chest.
The photos were suggested as evidence that a rival drug cartel had tortured him to death after he had been rumbled for stealing cocaine that he had been charged with ensuring the passage to a port in Antwerp.
The police, however, did not fall for the trick of “tortured to death” and he has since been arrested and charged.
For his role in a 113-kg cocaine smuggling project dating back to 2016, C will now be jailed for four years and fined £ 16,193.
The suspect had sought to market the narcotics he siphoned off from the shipment he was intended to oversee.
And last year after the Albanian drug cartel he robbed from made him a marked man, he went into hiding.
The gang retaliated while looking for C by targeting multiple addresses, including houses and warehouses, armed with AK-47 weapons and hand grenade explosives.
For a series of offenses committed in 2015, C was still wanted.
He published photographs of himself apparently slumped in a chair with his hands tied and fake injuries around his body in an effort to falsify his own death.
As part of the ruse, C had “stab wounds” on his torso, fake blood across his body, and the word “thief” carved into his chest.
His sentence was shortened from five years to four by the Belgian authorities, even after a failed effort to persuade the police that he was dead.
His counsel argued in court that he was “sorry” for his past crimes and said that he was taught what “taking responsibility” meant by his wife and three-year-old son.
The fake photos first emerged last year but the images were considered false by experts last December.
“The visible wounds will be most likely the work of a skilled make-up artist, probably someone working in the film world,” the Brussels Times reported at the time.
They added: “According to four physicians who studied the images, including one forensic pathologist, the wounds on his body, apparently fatal, are fake.”