Anyone who still has faith in the rule of law will probably be somewhat disconcerted by what he reads, unless his private interests dictate that he should turn a blind eye in order to continue to profit from the situation, a state of affairs that is unfortunately all too common. The following text does nothing less than establish a connection between the network of false Bulgarian passports, discovered by Myrianne Coen in the 1990s, and the « Dutroux network ». Connections that people placed in the high judicial and diplomatic state spheres, have systematically tried to stifle.
In 1996, Myrianne Coen, number 2 of the Belgian embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria, denounces a visa traffic that takes place in the embassy. A few years after the dissolution of the USSR, crime was organized around former members of the Nomenklatura and the secret services, who were developing a visa traffic through the Schengen area. In France, at the same time, an influx of prostitutes of Bulgarian origin in Strasbourg alerted the judicial world, which discovered that they were granted business visas … On this basis, will be examined a business manager and his wife, the person who issued visas to the French consulate in Sofia as well as the ambassador and the French consul in Sofia. » The fraud discovered at the French Embassy and other Western chancelleries is classic: the mafia obtain the precious visas thanks to internal accomplices who provide false invitations to travel or « forget », for a fee, to verify the validity of the request(1). « The French investigation will be prompt and efficient.
On the Belgian side, we hear nothing. Is it because there is nothing to say? On the contrary, it was discovered that hundreds of visas had been issued irregularly, with the Brussels public prosecutor’s office acknowledging years later that the amount of fraud was more than 500,000 euros. The traffic would have taken place from 1992 to the end of 2000. Myrianne Coen, who discovers these criminal maneuvers, will inform Brussels repeatedly, but will never get any answers. The case was not put under investigation by the Brussels public prosecutor’s office until April 1997: » For 16 months, four investigating judges succeeded one another without at any time questioning the main protagonist, Ambassador Koenraad Rouvroy(2). « When she decides to file a complaint with the constitution of a civil party, it will never be investigated. Another disturbing fact is that » on June 7, 2000, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, without any reason, changes the language of the investigation and appoints a (sixth) judge, this time Dutch-speaking. This may result in the cancellation of the investigation. In November, the Public Prosecutor’s Office acknowledged that between 1995 and 1997, at least 500 visas had been issued irregularly by the Belgian Embassy. It appears that it was the embassy itself that organized the traffic(3). »
When it is proposed to create a parliamentary commission of inquiry on human trafficking that would check the policy of granting visas, Louis Michel will shout to the senators of the Senate’s sub-committee on the Interior: « no way!(4) ». The lawyers, Jean-Maurice Arnould and the former anti-mafia judge Ferdinando Imposimato, believe that they are confronted with a deliberate desire on the part of the Belgian justice system not to investigate this case or to do everything possible to invalidate it(5). »
The Equal Opportunity Center, seeing in the case serious suspicions of human trafficking, decides to join the complaint. He is not mistaken, visa fraud indeed directly feeds human trafficking and various mafia activities. Johan Leman, director of the Center for Equal Opportunities, explains at the time: » money laundering, prostitution, child pornography , drugs and cigarettes », are the objects of this traffic. He adds that a business of very low quality meat also fed Bulgaria via Belgium: the trucks left Belgium to Bulgaria and returned loaded with cigarettes. But the former director reveals a larger, international traffic that linked the two countries: arms and diamonds. This brings back memories and reminds us of the diamond sector in the flat country, which benefited from a penal transaction set up by the Belgian tax authorities. Let’s briefly recall that the extended penal transaction which benefited organized crime around the diamond, also allowed the « Kazakh trio » to avoid the pleasure of the insalubrity of Belgian prisons(6). Regarding the illegal arms trade, it is suspected that the arms were transported via Air Sofia from Ostend airport, which is known to be a place of intense trafficking. It would also be through this that the arms bought from Belgium by the Libyan militias, with part of the money from the interest of the liberated Libyan funds, would later be passed on(7).
THE REALITY OF BELGIAN TRAFFIC
» Based on the inspections carried out by the Department of Foreign Affairs, there is a strong likelihood that the possibility of issuing visas ex officio on the basisof collective invitations from Belgian companies has been abused, » Koen Vervaeke, spokesman for Foreign Affairs, admitted to a journalist from RTBF. In spite of numerous evidences, multiple clues, the fact that the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Foreign Affairs Department recognize the reality of the traffic, nobody will be indicted in Belgium. The spokesman evaded the journalist’s question, when he pointed out that » documents at the time were signed byAmbassador Koenraad Rouvroy, but despite this, he was never disturbed . As a reward, he was even appointed to the Belgian Embassy in South Korea afterwards…
A senior Bulgarian intelligence officer will confirm Mrs. Coen’s allegations: » I have my own sources to tell you that this traffic of visas in the Belgian embassy existed well before Mrs. Coen denounced it; our authorities were perfectly aware of what was happening in several Western embassies (…) As soon as she denounced the facts, it is obvious that they wanted to get rid of Myrianne Coen(8). » Getting rid of embarrassing elements seems to be a recurrent practice… When Johan Leman requests access to the file, » the investigating judge immediately threatens the director of the Center to search his home(9). « Curious, right?
All the Department of Foreign Affairs will do is fire a secretary, who Myrianne Coen says had no involvement in the case. Sacrificing an innocent subordinate to save the guilty, common practice… Myrianne Coen’s lawyer, Ferdinando Imposimato(10), close to Judge Falcone, fighting like him against the Italian mafia, will say: » a Bulgarian official made an intervention at a colloquium in Brussels in which he said: « our Bulgarian mafia is in contact with embassy officials who are in Belgium. This statement is very serious, it confirms what we suspected, that the Bulgarian mafia has a great power and is active in human trafficking ». (…) The evidence exists, and in the face of Mrs. Coen’s denunciation, there is also the inertia of the Belgian judiciary, and this is of unprecedented gravity. The European Court should react to this inertia, because this traffic also concerns terrorism, organized crime, Al-Qaeda, tragic attacks, etc. Visa trafficking looks like a small thing, but when you look at it closely, it is not only visa trafficking, it is also a tool for other crimes « This confirms what the Belgian Senate said in 1999: » document trafficking is the red thread of organized crime « . The former judge confirms that » the mafia buys diplomats, embassy staff, politicians to manage the visa traffic, so useful in the human trade. The fraud is mainly carried out in the embassies of Belgium, France, Germany and Italy. It brings in between 30 and 50 million dollars(11). »
« The evidence exists, and in the face of Mrs. Coen’s denunciation, there is also the inertia of the Belgian judiciary, and this is of unprecedented gravity.
It was known that terrorism was above all a new means for our states to toughen up repression against organizations and individuals whose dissent went beyond the framework they had politically defined. What is less well known is that these mafia-like state practices, a pleonasm if ever there was one, have murky links with child trafficking and pedophilia.
THE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN THE DUTROUX CASE AND THE BULGARIAN NETWORK
Despite the fact that car theft, prostitution, drug trafficking, weapons and pedophilia are linked, money having no limits, the general prosecutor of Liège at the time wanted to separate what seemed to be of the same order. She thus declares that the 87/96 case of car trafficking in the Dutroux case will probably not be able to stay in Neufchâteau. » For Anne Thily, the voluminous file of child murders should not be unnecessarily burdened by car, drug and arms trafficking. She will therefore give the order to split the investigation, a well known form of gruyèrisation which allows not to bring an investigation to a successful conclusion, of which a practice consists in dismantling in a recurrent way the personnel in charge of the file. Thus, the investigation was restarted six times, each time resetting everything to zero and wasting an enormous amount of precious time. When a journalist asked Myrianne Coen’s Belgian lawyer, Mr. Arnould, « Do you think this case is being covered up? We know that there are cases with abnormal delays in Belgium, but this one has a particularity: the delay is not the result of a case that has not been solved. We have a case that is clear to me, where suspects exist, and they are not even being questioned… So, well, I’ll let you answer the question you asked « . In this logic, Myrianne Coen, who denounces criminal acts, is recalled to Brussels, while the ambassador will remain in place… Nothing to add.
Johan Leman notes, about Myrianne Coen’s revelations: « 90% ofwhat she told me and that I was able to verify, turned out to be true « . But for the State, auditing implies the risk of revealing, and there are implications.… The document of embassy presented below resumes two requests sent by Marc Schulman, the administrator of the SPRL Video Promotion, to the ambassador of Sofia at the time. In these letters, Schulman supports the request for visas of Bulgarian businessmen, including Mihail Petrov Mihaylov of the Nova Telvisia group, whose third page of our document shows that he is not playing in the small league.
So far, nothing in particular that would fall outside the scope of visa trafficking. But Marc Schulman(12) is more interesting than that. First, by his brother Charles: » On October 21, 1983, a letter from Charles Schulman arrived at the Melin prison in France. Charles Schulman is a Belgian professor and head of the urology department at the Erasmus Hospital in Anderlecht. In his letter, written on hospital letterhead and addressed to the prison administration, Schulman pleads for Weinstein’s parole. He promises that a fellow psychiatrist will take him under his wing in Belgium. It is not known if this plea had anything to do with it, but on November 6, 1985, after serving nearly two-thirds of his sentence, Weinstein was released. When Schulman was interviewed at the beginning of 1997, he immediately admitted that there had never been any question of psychological follow-up in Belgium. He explains that he wrote this letter at the insistence of his wife: Mireille, Bernard Weinstein’s sister(13)… » Bernard Weinstein, you remember, one of the protagonists of the Dutroux case…
» On November 28, 1985, three weeks after his release, Bernard Weinstein arrived in Belgium. Mireille flies to his rescue. On December 1st, he is hired in the SPRL Video Promotion, which belongs to the brother of Schulman, Joseph (« Marc »). The company, established in a disused Acec warehouse at 167 Marconi Street in Forest, is mainly involved in copying videocassettes. Video Promotion transformed a part of the dilapidated building into a film studio. « Weinstein worked there as a video copier on the night shift, » recalls Joseph Schulman, who for the rest doesn’t remember much, ten years later. « He was a withdrawn man, always alone, with an absolute lack of interest in anything to do with sex, » says the former manager, who knows what he’s talking about, having frequented the Brussels partying scene in the 1970s. Schulman still says his companies never made pornography, but he doesn’t know if Weinstein did any off-duty work for his own account(14). »
These revelations, worthy of a detective story, do not stop there: » The small empire of video companies run by Joseph Schulman will arouse the interest of the investigators of Neufchâteau, at the beginning of 1997. The same Schulman is also managing director of the SPRL Audio Corporation, which operates, in the early 80’s, a recording studio at Avenue Molière 86, in Uccle. It’s a small world: this is the studio where Jean-Paul Raemaekers said, in 1995, that pedophile films were made in the 80s « . Here? » Coincidentally, the building was bought in 1991 by the Brussels pediatrician Claude C. He was the doctor with whom Annie Bouty and Michel Nihoul had their children treated. Sometimes the world is even smaller. The Brussels lawyer Michel Vander Elst, just released from prison after his conviction for his role in the kidnapping of former Prime Minister Paul Vanden Boeynants, regularly acts as counsel for SPRL Audio Corporation. In the eyes of the prosecutor Michel Bourlet, at the beginning of 1997, he is above all the one who gives an alibi to Michel Nihoul for the kidnapping of Laetitia Delhez and, moreover, his name appears several times in the related files of the Dutroux case. At the beginning of 1997, eleven searches were conducted at the Schulman brothers’ homes, their associates, the headquarters of their video companies and their bank vaults. In one of the companies, there is a hint of tax evasion — via KB Lux — but no trace of the initially suspected pornography trade. « It’s all right then… all those bad tongues, seeing pedophilia everywhere! Even most journalists who investigate these matters will generally conclude from the various testimonies involving high-ranking people, the expression of megalomaniacal acts or aiming to protect themselves.
Oh, one more thing to specify: according to our sources, the documents sent to the Belgian embassy by Marc Schulman were known by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1997, which will later have them in its archives, and the justice system would have them in its possession since 1998. Didier Reynders, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, has aligned himself with the silence and inaction of his predecessors.
When we were teenagers, the tragedies of the kidnappings that struck Belgium were too unimaginable for our young minds, alert, but still full of naivety about the world we were about to discover. What we heard about « Julie and Melissa » was mostly in the form of « jokes ». Bad taste, of which we say to ourselves today that they are an insult to the parents who have suffered undoubtedly the worst pain that can be. But we weren’t mean, we were being humorous to get away from the unspeakable… we were laughing so we wouldn’t know any better.
Others don’t want us to know more, but for other reasons. One can blame the young and the mistakes, but it is more useful to show how those who could have revealed the backstage of the horror, did everything to keep the silence, and that Belgium, its castes, its criminals, remain unpunished. Behind the figure of the monster (Dutroux), a whole system is hidden, which has invested itself in order not to be discovered.
In short, nothing was settled during and after the Dutroux affair, and the stigmatization of those who dared to doubt behind the traits of the « conspiracy theorist » extinguished any desire to challenge the official thesis. If it is entertaining to watch the movies with Don Corleone, the Belgian reality is enough. As one of Myrianne Coen’s lawyers, Ferdinando Imposimato, a connoisseur of Italian mafia practices, said, « I have been involved in legal proceedings against them,
the mafia has become as strong in our country as in Italy and the Belgian institutions are deeply infiltrated by it.
The « Dutroux affair » is not over. Everything remains to be done.
Eric Arthur Parme, Guillaume Bordde, Sacha Aspen.
- Les visas du crime, Michel Hucorne, Philippe Lorsignol, RTBF. Toutes les citations non référencées qui suivent sont issues de ce documentaire.
- « Trafics de visas sans trafiquant, les menaces de Michel », Le Soir, https://plus.lesoir.be/art/traite-des-etres-humains-un-dossier-judiciair….
- « Bienvenue en ploutocratie: Kazakhgate, Afrique, réseaux… le MR à tous les étages », Kairos. https://www.kairospresse.be/article/bienvenue-en-ploutocratie-kazakhgate-…
- Voir « De qui se moque-t-on ? Sur Reynders et les affaires entre amis ». https://www.kairospresse.be/article/de-qui-se-moque-t-sur-reynders-et-les…
- Myrianne Coen aurait fait l’objet d’une tentative d’assassinat, pour laquelle aucune enquête approfondie n’a non plus été menée.
- « Trafics de visas sans trafiquant, les menaces de Michel », Le Soir, https://plus.lesoir.be/art/traite-des-etres-humains-un-dossier-judiciair…
- Voir le fichierWikipedia sur Ferdinando Imposimato, https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinando_Imposimato#Le_Groupe_Bilderberg…
- Fraude : un ancien juge italien s’en prend à Louis Michel, Le Soir, https://plus.lesoir.be/art/%252Ffraude-un-ancien-juge-italien-s-en-prend…
- Qui dans le document ci-dessous, pour des raisons inconnues (un second prénom?) est appelé Joseph, mais est le même, car tous « deux » sont les patrons de Vidéo Promotion).
- Les dossiers X, ce que la Belgique ne devait pas savoir sur l’affaire Dutroux, EPO, 1999, p. 37.
- Op. Cit.