A human trafficking network operating in the Brussels region out of Gare du Nord was dismantled by police, leading to the arrest of ten individuals and the identification of several migrants in irregular situations.
The traffickers would charge migrants wishing to get to the United Kingdom to place them into trucks without the driver of the vehicle knowing.
Federal and provincial police authorities carried out the detention operation last week, the Brussels federal prosecutor said on Wednesday, concluding an investigation ongoing since December of last year.
During the operation, police agents stopped a truck in which five migrants were being transported, and arrested a trafficker who was with them.
A simultaneous operation in the addresses of other known traffickers was carried out, and resulted in the arrest of six individuals directly involved in the trafficking network, while three others were arrested for offences regarding immigration laws.
The operation also resulted in the identification of about thirty migrants found to be in an irregular situation. Ten transmigrants were placed in a detention facility in Steenokkerzeel, north of Zaventem airport, and authorities gave an unspecified number of migrants the order to leave Belgian territory.
All ten suspects arrested in the operation and will be brought before a judge.
The criminal network was made up mostly of Sudanese nationals, found to have several different addresses in Brussels, and who were often in the areas around the Gare du Nord and Parc Maximilien in order to find new victims.
The traffickers would instruct migrants to take a train to Arlon, head to the Belgian border with Luxembourg, and from there cross the border by foot into to reach two parking lots in the motorway, where they would then be hidden inside a truck.
The Brussels Times