Two suspected drug traffickers were forced to call the police on themselves after they were locked in stifling heat in a shipping container packed with cocaine at the port of Antwerp.
The two men, aged 24 and 25, had to make an emergency call to the police, during which they said they had been “trapped” while trying to take possession of the drugs.
It took two hours for the police to locate the correct container at the port of Antwerp, which is the second largest in Europe.
Armed police opened the container to find the men stripped to their waists and dehydrated in the extreme heat of last week.
The men became stuck last Wednesday, on one of the hottest days recorded in Belgium, with temperatures exceeding 40C. On being released they had cold water thrown over them to bring down their temperatures. They were not fit for immediate interrogation.
The men were imprisoned after being brought before an investigating judge, the Antwerp public prosecutor said in a statement.
The prosecutor’s office referred to the discovery of “a lot of cocaine” in the container. The local Gazet van Antwerpen newspaper, which released a video of the arrest, said the amount was “hundreds of kilograms”.
Kristof Aerts, a spokesman at the Antwerp public prosecutor’s office, said: “Around 10.30am, the emergency centre received a call from two men. They said they were locked up in a container on quay 1742 and that they were in the process of taking [possession of] a drug.