Suspected human traffickers rescued on a broken boat near Ostend
Monday, 17 June 2019
Two people intercepted on Friday on a boat off the Belgian coast near Ostend are suspected of human trafficking, according to reports. The prosecutor confirmed that nine Albanian nationals were on board, en route to the UK.
The judge ordered the arrest of the two people suspected of human trafficking. “The victims were in a precarious situation, and their lives were endangered,” said Frank Demeester of the West Flanders Prosecutor’s Office, Bruges section. An investigation into the criminal organization will be opened.
The Coast Guard received a call on Friday night from a sailboat with engine failure near Ostend. A rescue boat and marine police were deployed. Nine people were on board, claiming to be of Albanian origin.
The prosecution assumes that the passengers were heading for the UK. It is increasingly common for transmigrants to try and reach the UK in this way.