Robber of Van Bommel was not after belongings, but contract at Antwerp
Mark van Bommel was robbed in October not by someone who was out for his belongings, but by a man who wanted a contract at Royal Antwerp, the club where the Dutchman is trainer. This was confirmed to Het Nieuwsblad by Belgium’s public prosecutor’s office.
Van Bommel was met in the parking garage near his apartment in the fall. The Dutchman managed to escape the armed man by driving backwards, ramming another car in the process. As a result, the alarm went off and the robber drove off.
“In true commando style, he was blinded with a flashlight and threatened with a firearm,” said John Maes, Van Bommel’s lawyer.
Investigations revealed that a “tracker” was attached under Van Bommel’s car. This device eventually led police to the phone of Somali suspect Jamaleh Haban M. A man who claims to be 17 but is 25 years old, according to the prosecution.
Based on data on this phone, it emerged that M. was not targeting the trainer’s car or watch, but a contract with the Belgian professional club.
M. allegedly had an Arabic text converted into an English audio file via a translation app. “Listen Mark, your family’s life depends on this, let me become a professional player. Don’t go to the police, we will kill you and your family. We know where you live,” was the message M. probably wanted played when he held Van Bommel at gunpoint.
Van Bommel dare not sleep at home
According to Maes, the event has a lot of impact on Van Bommel. “My client is used to some things, but not this. He doesn’t dare sleep at home anymore and lives in a hotel.”
The prosecutor is demanding five years in prison and a fine of 1,200 euros.
Van Bommel himself was not present in court. The Dutch coach plays Sunday against Racing Genk and can then become champion of Belgium.