Fewer illegal immigrants leaving Belgium for UK
27 September 2005
BRUSSELS – Fewer illegal immigrants are leaving Belgian ports in a bid to reach British shores, new figures have revealed.
According to the latest statistics only 504 illegals were caught in the port of Zeebrugge in the first eight months of the year, compared to 944 the previous year.
The steady decline in numbers began after the summer of 2003. From January to November in that year, 2480 illegal immigrants were caught on their way to the UK.
At that time, Zeebrugge was the most popular transit port for those seeking a new life across the Channel, especially for Afghan refugees.
Numbers began to fall when the mayor of Bruges, Patrick Moenart, closed down a lot of empty houses that were serving as lodgings for illegals.
Port authorities also enforced stronger measures against people-trafficking, including increased video surveillance in various terminals.
Police officers also began to use additional technology to identify illegal immigrants through iris scans.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news