Belgian national sentenced to nine months for assisting human trafficking
Share article:
Share article:

Belgian national sentenced to nine months for assisting human trafficking

Credit: Belga

A Belgian national has been found guilty in a Dunkirk court of involvement in people smuggling and has been sentenced to nine months in prison, without parole.

Sylvain Delarbre, an entrepreneur originally from Brussels, first raised suspicions when he was involved in a road accident on the A16 motorway to Dunkirk, last Thursday. Having arrived at the site of the accident, which involved no other motorists and no injuries, the police noticed that the van contained semi-rigid inflatable rafts. Delarbre was arrested on the spot.

The subsequent inquest revealed that Delarbre had made around 20 deliveries of nautical equipment to coastal destinations, including Ghyvelde, Leffrinckoucke, Calais, Wimereux, Neufchâtel-Hardelot, Boulogne, and Berck. However, when the police questioned him, Delarbre claimed to have no idea about the reason for his deliveries or what the material he delivered would be used for.

Speaking to police whilst in custody, he explained that he had been contacted online by a person going by the name “Mourad”. Although messages had been exchanged online and they had spoken on the phone, Delarbre had never met this mysterious contact. “He told me that there would be people waiting to take care of loading and unloading the van, all I had to do was drive to the GPS coordinates he gave me,” Delarbre explained.

However, the court was unconvinced by his assertion of ignorance, saying that he could surely not be so naïve as to not realise that he was transporting material for migrants crossing the Channel. “Didn’t you find it bizarre that in the middle of the night migrants handed you €500 cash through the window having made a delivery?” the judge asked.

Related Posts

In his defense, Delarbre tried to assure the court of his obliviousness by blaming his lack of suspicion on sheer stupidity: “It did seem a bit strange to me but in my silly Brussels head I thought that I was just making deliveries, nothing more.” He added that he had seen the contents of the van but “had no idea that it was forbidden to transport boats and that you could go to prison for that.”

Yet the court was unimpressed by his defense and sentenced Delarbre to nine months in prison. In addition, Delarbre was forbidden from entering French territory for one year and the €3800 cash that he had at the time of arrest was confiscated.

 

Latest news

Belgium’s investment funds total 260 billion euros in assets
Belgium’s funds industry grew by 5.3% (13 billion euros) in the second quarter of this year, bringing investment funds available to the public to ...
Brussels to Luxembourg by train in two hours soon possible
The fastest train ride between Brussels and Luxembourg currently takes almost three hours, but that could be slashed to about two hours thanks to the ...
Over 80,000 companies in Belgium non-compliant with anti-money laundering meassures
Over 80,000 companies and non-profits in Belgium are still not compliant with the Ultimate Business Owner (UBO) register, which is required of them ...
Increase in tax exemption for donations in Belgium fails to meet expectations
The increase from 45% to 60% in the tax exemption for donations, decided by the former federal government in June 2020, has cost Belgium more than ...
Sex workers in Belgium to get more social rights protection
The social rights of sex workers will soon be better protected in Belgium, Belga News Agency reports. The Council of Ministers has approved a draft ...
Belgian firms sent almost 266 billion euros to tax havens last year
Hundreds of Belgian firms sent close to 266 billion euros to tax havens last year, De Tijd reported on Saturday. Any Belgian individual or firm ...
Belgian investigator wins prestigious US prize
Olivier Hardy, an investigator with the federal police’s anti-terrorist unit in Brussels, DR3, received on Friday a "Top Cop" prize in Washington for ...
Pegasus Project: European Parliament awards journalism prize to investigation of use of spyware
The Daphne Caruana Prize for Journalism was awarded on Thursday to the journalists from the Pegasus Project coordinated by the Forbidden Stories ...
Belgians can now test their knowledge of driving rules and win prizes
The Walloon Road Safety Agency (AWSR) launched on Friday a quiz to allow the general public to test their knowledge of the highway code. Last year, ...
600 extras wanted for film about Belgian ‘Porn King’ and notorious Antwerp nightclub
A Belgian movie telling the story of a notorious Antwerp nightclub with connections to a Belgian 'Porn King' is looking for 600 extras at the end of ...
Namur Marathon relaunches after two years on hold
The next edition of the Namur Marathon will take place on April 24, 2022, its organisers announced on Friday, as they also opened registrations. ...
Lidl goes on strike: Half of supermarkets in Belgium closes on Saturday
One in two Lidl shops remained closed on Saturday morning, Lidl spokeswoman Isabelle Colbrandt said. Staff have been on strike for several days to ...