One of Belgium’s top football TV presenters has been charged with armed robbery during a raid in an affluent Brussels satellite town, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Stephane Pauwels, who has hosted shows for Belgian and French television, was arrested in a major police probe.
Pauwels is suspected of “armed robbery with a firearm, at night, as part of a gang”, federal prosecutor’s spokeswoman Wenke Roggen told AFP.
The raid took place in the wealthy town of Lasne, south of Brussels, in 2017, and was described by media as a “home invasion”.
The arrest is part of an investigation launched several months ago into armed robberies, burglaries and drug dealing, Roggen said, with five people currently in custody.
Pauwels was detained in the southern city of Mons on Tuesday and on Wednesday appeared before a judge who charged him and granted conditional bail.
The 50-year-old is a presenter on Belgium’s RTL-TVI channel — the country’s leading private broadcaster — and is also known in France for hosting football programmes on several stations.
As well as football, Pauwels also hosts a show on RTL-TVI called “Storms of Life”, telling tales of dramatic ordeals faced by celebrities and ordinary people.
“Life is full of unexpected turns. For some it can be particularly difficult, taking them in an instant from happiness to hardship,” the show’s website said.
Parent company RTL Belgium announced that Pauwels was suspended with immediate effect.