'Thousands' of migrants smuggled into UK

2016-01-11 21:06


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Brussels - Belgian police aided by their British counterparts said on Monday they have smashed a ring that smuggled possibly thousands of migrants into Britain, with 12 suspects arrested in the case.

Iraqi Kurds ran the ring which between May and November charged migrants €2 000 ($2 180) each to hide them in lorries heading to England, the police said in a statement.

"The gang operated very frequently, almost daily, and smuggled a large number of people every day, up to 20 people per night, or hundreds of people per month," police said.

"The result of this Belgian investigation, carried out with the help of the British authorities, can be considered a big blow in the fight against organised people smuggling."

Belgium's De Standaard newspaper estimated that the ring smuggled up to 3 000 migrants to Britain, a figure prosecutors said was plausible even if they did not confirm it.

The smugglers hid the migrants in lorries, many of them refrigerated and potentially dangerous, as they were parked at night along highways near the Belgian capital Brussels or between Ghent and Antwerp, the country's main port, police said.

Ghent prosecutors' spokesperson Eva Brantegem said the two suspected ring leaders were arrested in Britain last week in co-operation with Britain's National Crime Agency. Belgium has asked for their extradition.

Police added that 10 Iraqi Kurdish men suspected of participating in the ring were already in custody after being arrested in Belgium between May 22 and November 25 last year.

Europol told AFP last year that it estimated around 30 000 people were involved in smuggling migrants into and through Europe in the continent's biggest migration crisis since WWII.

Read more on:    belgium  |  uk  |  migrants

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.