People smugglers more active, border police arrest 230 so far


Dutch border police have arrested 230 people on suspicion of people smuggling so far this year, an increase of 40% on the same period last year.

Over 1,000 people were found trying to enter the country illegally during checks carried out by the border police mobile unit, which monitors suspicious movements in the border areas.

A special team is currently studying the so-called Belarus route, border police spokesman Robert van Kapel told broadcaster NOS. ‘Every once in a while a trend shows up when a  migrant stream starts to move, as happened recently in Belarus,’ Van Kapel said.

The border police found dozens of people who had come in via this route in the last few months alone. Other routes that are being investigated include a route via the Balkans and one from East Africa, Van Kapel said.

The number of people trying to cross into Britain as stowaways in trucks at Hoek van Holland and Europoort has also been rising in recent weeks, he said.

People smuggling carries a maximum penalty of four years.  

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