New passenger checks catch 834 wanted criminals

Friday, 17 August 2018 11:41
New passenger checks catch 834 wanted criminals ©Brussels Airport
A new system of screening airline passengers flying out of Belgium has netted 834 wanted criminals since it was introduced in April, according to the federal home affairs ministry.
The new law requires airlines communicate the personal details of all passengers to the ministry, which then refers to police databases, to determine if any of the people concerned are wanted, or in other cases are forbidden from leaving the country – if serving parole, for example.

The Passenger Information Unit (as it is called, in English) has called in airport police in 10% of cases, leading to the discovery of more than 800 cases – among them eight drugs dealers and 18 victims of parental abduction. Others were suspected of theft, tech crimes and links to terrorism.

The Unit is made up of police, state security, military intelligence and customs officers. Background checks are made without the suspect’s knowledge, based on the information they provide to the airline. Police become involved when the suspect presents at the airport – not necessarily always at the same stage of the procedure.

A spokesperson for the home affairs minister said the new system has turned out to be “a major success story in the fight against crime and terrorism”.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Google Plus

More Stories

Teacher shortage costs secondary students two hours of classes per week

Teacher shortage costs secondary students two hours of classes per week

An average 6% of classes in secondary schools were not taught in the 2017-2018 academic year due to a lack of teachers, La Libre reported on Friday.

Aalst Carnival faces removal from world heritage list

Aalst Carnival faces removal from world heritage list

The possible removal of the Aalst Carnival from the list of UNESCO world heritage sites will be examined in December, following the controversy sparked by floats denounced as anti-Semitic, the UN body said on Friday.

Docks shopping centre wants rid of cinema complex

Docks shopping centre wants rid of cinema complex

The management of the Docks Bruxsel shopping centre in Schaerbeek has applied to the commercial court in Brussels to have the White Cinema evicted.