Belgium interrupts organized migrant smuggling to UK

January 12, 2016 7:21 am 

BRUSSELS, Jan. 11 — Belgian law enforcement authorities have halted the activities of an international criminal organization involved in smuggling migrants to the United Kingdom through Belgium, local media reported Monday.

The organization had managed to transfer over 3,000 undocumented Kurds and Iraqis to the United Kingdom, the Mediahuis media group reported, citing the prosecutor's office of the Belgian province of East Flanders. The gang was reportedly smuggling twenty migrants on average every day in trucks, with the journey costing 3,000 euros (USD3,300) per person.

Six suspects believed to be complicit in the smuggling operation have been detained, including two suspected leaders of the criminal network, according to the media outlet.

Europe is currently struggling to cope with a massive migrant crisis, with hundreds of thousands of people fleeing conflict-torn countries in the Middle East and North Africa in search of safety and refuge in stable and wealthy European Union (EU) states.

In May 2015, the European Commission adopted a five-year Action Plan as part of an EU agenda on migration, prioritizing the fight against migrant smuggling. (PNA/Sputnik)

BNB/SSC

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