The police have now asked all centres to register and report potential incidents so that a proper picture of the situation can be drawn up. ‘But one thing is clear. There are signs that people traffickers and traders are operating near to the centres,’ a police spokesman said.
It says the resettlement agency COA has been given ‘alarming’ signs about their activities by the refugee organisation Vluchtelingenwerk and other organisations.
Last week, the COA sounded the alarm about the possible abuse of minors attending the Eritrean orthodox church in Rotterdam where a ‘large number’ of young girls have become pregnant. The church has denied all involvement.
The paper points out that in the past dozens of young, unaccompanied asylum seekers disappeared from refugee centres and are thought to have ended up in the hands of people traffickers.
They are easy targets because they do not have any money, are easy to convince and do not know where to go for help, the paper points out.