A police collaboration between Belgium, the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands enabled the dismantling of a large network of smugglers on Tuesday. They were suspected having taken hundreds of Kurds illegally to the United Kingdom. The information appeared in a communiqué, issued on Wednesday by the British Embassy in Brussels. Twenty one people were arrested.
In total, some 350 police officers have taken part in a large operation against this criminal network, which is the result of an investigation lasting for a year.
The British Embassy stressed, “This is one of the largest initiatives conducted by the NCA (National Crime Agency, editor’ s note) since its creation in 2013, following direct cooperation with the Belgian federal police, the French border police (PAF) and the Dutch military police (KMAR).”
Investigators say that the migrants had to pay between £5,000 and £10,000 to the smugglers. The network is suspected of sending individuals to the United Kingdom via Belgium, France and the Netherlands.
According to the officer from the NCA based in Brussels, the collaboration between the British authorities and the Belgian police special investigation teams is ongoing. The officer says, “We are targeting those who are profiting from people smuggling, and who are often associated with the exploitation of vulnerable people.”