Campaign against human trafficking: police ask citizens to report suspicions

Belgian police are asking citizens to report suspicious situations as part of a campaign against human trafficking launched on Thursday. Through the new initiative, the police hope to intervene more quickly when needed.

The police aim to raise awareness of the issue of human trafficking and are calling on people to report suspicious situations via the emergency number 112.

Human traffickers buy large quantities of boats, life jackets and other equipment for crossing from northern French beaches to the UK. This equipment is often bought in neighbouring countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Intercepting vehicles

"In recent years, the integrated police conducted targeted checks to break the supply chain of trafficking networks and intercept vehicles transporting marine equipment before they reached their final destination. Tips from citizens can definitely help in this regard," federal police said on Thursday.

People are being asked to report vehicles and trailers with engines, life jackets or boats. Hidden boats on the coastline or people going out to sea in large groups can also be reported. Merchants are asked to watch out for people buying large quantities of life jackets, engines or materials to assemble a boat. In addition, customers who want to complete their purchase as quickly as possible, have little technical knowledge about the boat and pay in cash may also be considered suspicious.

Frequent controls

Previous police actions have, according to Belgium's federal government, already proven effective. In February, federal Justice minister Vincent Van Quickenborne announced that human traffickers are increasingly abandoning Belgium as a transit country in their attempt to smuggle migrants into the UK.

According to the minister, this is partly due to frequent police controls, comprehensive international cooperation against human trafficking, the use of data discovered on confiscated smartphones by the Federal Judicial Police and strict penalties for human traffickers.



#FlandersNewsService © BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM

Related news

Website preview
Chinese human trafficking and prostitution network dismantled in Brussels
Last night investigators dismantled a Chinese human trafficking and prostitution network in the Alhambra district of Brussels. De Standaard reports this, and the Belgian public prosecutor's office confirms the news.
Website preview
Leader of Vietnamese human trafficking gang sentenced to ten years in prison
The court of appeal in Ghent (East Flanders province) has sentenced the leader of a large Vietnamese human trafficking gang to 10 years in prison. The gang is held responsible for the deaths of 39 Vietnamese whose bodies were found in a refrigerated lorry in Essex, England, after being smuggled to the UK via Belgium.

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels