5 October 2004
BRUSSELS – Belgian police raided a total of 124 shops offering cheap phone calls in a countrywide swoop designed to crackdown on unlicensed traders, it was reported on Tuesday.
The operation code-named Tam Tam took place on Monday between 2pm and 10pm in Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liege.
As a result, 29 phone shops were closed.
Of those, 21 didn’t have a necessary licence from the Belgian Postal and Telecommunication Institute (IBPT) and the rest were found to be unhygienic or employing illegal immigrants.
Herve Jamar, secretary of state for the fight against tax fraud, said the raids were part of regular checks in the sector.
Some 400 police officers and inspectors from the tax office, as well as the foreigners’ office, were involved.
In April and June, two similar inspections were made at 85 shops, 53 of which were closed for having no licence.
In Monday’s raids eight people were also arrested for administrative breaches and 83 people for being illegally resident in Belgium.
Ten people were taken into custody because they were wanted by the courts.
Ninety percent of the phone shops raided on Monday them were found to be breaking tax regulations, the authorities said.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news