The police have set up a special programme in an effort to keep criminals away from refugee centres where they are trying to recruit people to become prostitutes or get involved in the drugs trade, the Volkskrant says on Friday.
There are currently 47 ongoing investigations into human trafficking around refugee centres, the paper says. In total, 100 police officers have been allocated to the programme and will on Friday begin patrols at refugee centres where problems have been reported.
Project leader Maikel Dop told RTL news: ‘Human trafficking often turns into human trading, particularly if people have to pay their smuggler for the journey. We have seen recruitment for prostitution and processing marijuana next to refugee centres.’
‘If a suspicious van drops off refugees or if we see unusual movements in the area of a refugee centre, we can now take action directly,’ spokesman Paul van Musscher told the Volkskrant.
In addition, police officers who speak Arabic are being brought in to talk to the refugees directly and find out more about who is trying to recruit asylum seekers to work in marijuana plantations or in prostitution.
‘Many refugees are frightened of the police and it helps to deal with them in their own language, Van Musscher said.
The new intervention teams will also tackle locals who use violence and intimidation in their protests against refugee centres, the Volkskrant says.
In the Brabant town of Veen, police are trying to find out who threw a brick through the window of a house where a Syrian refugee family have lived for the past year.
The car used by the police to reach the family was apparently set on fire and totally destroyed while they were being questioned, the Telegraaf says.
Veen has a tradition of car fires, particularly during the New Year celebrations.
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