Asylum applications: over 60 undocumented migrants found around the port of Zeebrugge
Thursday, 17 December 2015
During a police action in the area of the port of Zeebrugge on Tuesday, 62 undocumented migrants were found. The Bruges section of the West Flanders Prosecutor reported this on Wednesday. Refugee candidates were handed over to the Aliens Office.
Different police patrols had noticed in recent weeks that many migrants were staying near the port of Zeebrugge. Abandoned tents, blankets and food scraps were clear evidence of this. They were hoping to find a boat in order to reach the United Kingdom.
On Tuesday, the Marine Police Services of Zeebrugge and local police areas from Bruges and Damme/Knokke-Heist have conducted an extensive action. Some 60 officers have intervened, supported particularly by a helicopter and the cavalry of the Federal Police. At 9 a.m., 62 undocumented migrants were found, including two minors. Most of them were of Iranian origin, and some others were Afghan and Algerian.
All were arrested and handed over to the Aliens Office. “We knew that a growing number of migrants were in the port area. But the number of people discovered within just a few hours is both remarkable and alarming”, said the prosecutor of West Flanders.