The Belgian police are introducing new methods of combating human trafficking and the problem of transit migrants: train checks. According to interior Minister Jan Jambon, the first action on trains last night led to the arrest of 15 people.
One of those taken in custody was a criminal wanted by police. The other 14 will hear today whether they will be sent to closed asylum centre for repatriation.
Transit migrants are refugees coming to Belgium without the intention of staying here, but using Belgium as a hub to get to another country, mostly Britain. Many try to get to motorway servicing areas in West Flanders (or more inland, in Groot-Bijgaarden) or to the port of Zeebrugge to get into the U.K. from there.
Police were thinking of new ways to stop this, and yesterday a first action on west-bound trains was staged, Jambon tweeted. In recent days, Mayors of West-Flemish municipalities had sounded the alarm as some are seeing the number of transit migrants rise, citing a lack of means to battle the problem. Jambon next announced that extra measures would be taken.