Random border controls by Dutch immigration police in 2012 led to 1,700 illegal immigrants being picked up and 250 cases of people smuggling being identified, Nos television reports.
Since official border controls were scrapped between Schengen zone countries, Dutch police have carried out spot checks on cars crossing from Germany into the Netherlands.
‘We are pleased with the result,’ immigration police spokesman Robert van Kapel told the broadcaster. ‘It is satisfying to pick up someone forcing women into prostitution or to roll up a people smuggling gang.’
Under EU rules, the police are only allowed to monitor the borders for a maximum 90 hours a month and stop a certain number of cars.
As well as people traffickers, the police picked up 2,400 people with unpaid fines, drugs smugglers and money launderers and found more than 400 fake passports and travel documents.
Labour and VVD MPs said they wanted the police to be given greater powers. ‘The limitations benefit the criminals,’ said VVD parliamentarian Klaas Dijkhoff. ‘They know the controls last six hours and wait until the police have gone.’
The EU opposes any further controls of the border areas.