Police from the Bruxelles-Capitale/Ixelles zone on Friday conducted a raid in the Parc Maximilien (Maximilien Park) in the north of the Belgian capital, the police reported. Some 30 migrants were picked up in the operation, according to the Immigration Service. Dozens of migrants had also been held on Wednesday and Thursday in a similar operation around the Bruxelles-Nord train station by the Bruxelles-Nord police. However, that operation did not include the nearby Parc Maximilien, where 500 and 600 migrants are camped, since the park belongs to a different police zone, Bruxelles-Capitale/Ixelles.
On Tuesday, Home Affairs Minister Jan Jambon (New Flemish Alliance) had stated on Twitter that the Government was going to tackle the Parc Maximilien situation and that police checks would be intensified. Labour and Economic Affairs Minister Kris Peeters (Christian Democratic and Flemish party) had decided on the same day to send labour inspectors to the park to counter “dishonest employers” who have going there and recruiting migrants who accept to work for low wages.
In 2015, hundreds of asylum candidates had had to sleep in the Parc Maximilien after their applications were not registered by the Immigration Service. This had created a controversy on the defects in the reception of migrants.