Police detain 23 illegal immigrants
11 April 2005, AMSTERDAM — Dutch police detained 23 illegal immigrants on Sunday morning in Zevenbergen and arrested a 39-year-old Estonian truck driver on human smuggling charges.
11 April 2005
AMSTERDAM — Dutch police detained 23 illegal immigrants on Sunday morning in Zevenbergen and arrested a 39-year-old Estonian truck driver on human smuggling charges.
Several truck drivers parked at the Distriboulevard in Zevenbergen heard rumbling noises in the Estonian's truck and alerted police.
Ten of the illegal immigrants were found hiding in the truck and police found another 13 elsewhere on the industrial terrain. The 21 men and two women were of Asian ancestry.
A small number of them had Chinese identification documents, but it is not yet certain whether all of them originated from China.
It is suspected they were on route to Britain, but it is not yet known where they were loaded onto the truck. A doctor has examined them and all are in a reasonable state of health.
They were taken to police stations in Breda and Bergen op Zoom, before being transferred to detention centres.
It is not yet certain how far the Asians travelled in the Estonian man's truck and investigators are trying to determine if the driver is linked to a human smuggling gang or not.
The truck driver is being remanded in custody and will appear before a judge later this week.
A recent report by the national police force KLPD indicated that the Netherlands is increasingly being used as a transit land by human smuggling gangs. Illegal immigrants are primarily taken to Britain, the US and Scandinavia.
The KLPD said there a couple of hundred gangs active in the Netherlands.
In one case, 58 Chinese illegal immigrants were found dead in the back of a truck at Dover in June 2000. They had suffocated to death.
Perry W., the Dutch driver of the truck, was jailed in the UK. He has since been relocated to the Netherlands to serve out the end of the sentence.
A group of human smugglers operating in the Netherlands were also prosecuted and some were jailed by a Dutch court.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news