A large-scale inspection by local police supported by other services at four airport carparks in Machelen on Wednesday uncovered 25 violations of labour, environmental and other laws.
The Federal Airport Police, along with the inspection services of the Ministry of the Economy, National Social Security Office, and Supervision of Social Laws Department took part in the operation, which was spearheaded by the Vilvoorde/Machelen (ViMa) police.
Most of the infractions identified by the inspectors were infringements of labour laws, but several environmental, urban planning and traffic violations were detected, as well as misleading business practices.
These included parking areas that were not closed and parking spaces that were not demarcated. In some cases, the van that was supposed to take tourists to the airport did not have the required permit, while the driver did have the correct driver's licence.
Machelen, in Flemish Brabant, is adjacent to the airport and is therefore the ideal location for airport parking, ViMa police spokesperson Catherine Bodet said.
"These carparks enable travellers to park their vehicles for longer periods, and the parking company then shuttles them to the airport," she explained.
"Various infringements had already been detected in the past in this sector, such as undeclared and illegal labour, which is why we've embarked on a coordinated action with the various partners,” she said.
"An investigation is also being conducted into the working conditions of the drivers and other staff employed by these dubious companies," Bodet added. "Further investigations will have to show whether we are dealing with human trafficking and exploitation here."