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Belgian sports journalist charged with armed robbery

A well-known Belgian sports journalist and TV presenter has been charged with armed robbery for his suspecte...

Posted: Aug. 30, 2018 2:23 PM
Updated: Aug. 30, 2018 2:23 PM

A well-known Belgian sports journalist and TV presenter has been charged with armed robbery for his suspected role in the raiding of a home in Lasne, Belgium.

Stephane Pauwels -- a TV presenter in both Belgium and France -- was arrested as part of a major police probe into a string of incidents in the country.

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Pauwels, 50, is suspected of being complicit in "armed robbery with a firearm, at night, as part of a gang," according to Wenke Roggen, spokeswoman for the Belgian Federal Prosecutor's Office.

His arrest Tuesday in the town of Mons, Belgium, came after the arrests of two other people Monday for their involvement in the 2017 robbery.

The arrests are part of a much broader investigation in Belgium including "more than 20 armed robberies in over three years", according to Roggen.

"He didn't act alone. He was charged for being part of the group, being one of the elders of the armed robbery. He wasn't in the house when it happened," Roggen told CNN.

According to the authorities, three people raided the house while three others cooperated in planning the burglary.

Pauwels is a TV presenter for RTL-TVI, a private French-language channel in Belgium. He also presents sports programs in France for W9 and TF1.

RTL Belgium has suspended Pauwels. On RTL Belgium's website it states: "It is with dismay that the management of RTL Belgium has been made aware of the Stephane Pauwels' arrest for involvement in an armed robbery."

It adds: "RTL Belgium has decided to suspend him with immediate effect as a precautionary measure."

Pauwels has been released under certain restrictions until his trial.

Due to the ongoing investigation, a trial date has not yet been scheduled.

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