A whole week of large-scale operations against human smuggling and trafficking and nuisance due to transit migration

2019, December 18

Throughout this week, police and security agencies will carry out large-scale and coordinated operations on behalf of the Belgian Minister of Home Affairs and Security Pieter De Crem. These operations target criminal gangs involved in human smuggling and trafficking. In addition, attention will also be paid to handling possible nuisances caused here and there by migrants in transit.

The kick-off for this week’s increased police activity, was given in the night of Monday to Tuesday. During various nocturnal police operations on motorway parking lots, drones and dogs were used to search for refugees and migrants in transit who had been hiding in the trailer of a truck. Yesterday, early in the evening, a police operation was conducted in the railway station of Brussels-North. Together with the railway police, a police intervention was rolled out in order to arrest stranded migrants in transit who caused nuisance. More police operations are planned in the coming days in the other provinces.

“With Brexit planned at the end of January, a lot of people still try to cross to the United Kingdom. This results in increased activity on Belgian territory. Our starting point is that these people are first and foremost the victims of human traffickers. However, if they deliberately refuse to ask asylum and crawl into the trailer of a lorry, we have to take action, on the one hand, to ensure these people’s own safety and, on the other hand, to prevent damage and tackle various forms of nuisance”, said Minister De Crem.

A total of about 1,000 police officers will be deployed during the various actions that will take place this week.

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