Thirty migrants intercepted in Oostduinkerke

Some 30 migrants were found in a light truck in Oostduinkerke. According to the West Coast police zone, they intended to cross to the UK. Two suspects were arrested.

At 4.30 this morning, a light truck was intercepted in Oostduinkerke, a borough of Koksijde. In it, some 30 migrants were found, mostly of Vietnamese origin. According to the West Coast police zone, they intended to cross over to the UK. Earlier this month, the police intercepted a boat carrying 38 people off the coast of Koksijde. 

Besides the better weather, police chief Nicholas Paelinck said tighter controls in France play a role. Moreover, refugee camps near Paris are being cleared in the run-up to the Olympics. British plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda in the future are also likely to add to the problem.

The UK Border Force wants to counter the problem by investing in so-called Small Boat Teams on the Belgian coast. This investment should break the supply chain of human smugglers, West Flanders governor Carl Decaluwé said on Friday. The project still has to be approved by the federal police.

Following the events, two suspects were arrested. Further investigation will have to reveal whether they are involved in human trafficking. The West Flanders public prosecutor's office has launched an investigation.


#FlandersNewsService | Police officers pictured along the North sea ​ © BELGA PHOTO KURT DESPLENTER


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