Federal police officers joined local police and the security services of the local transport companies operating in the Brussels Region to carry out the checks.
In all 45 people were detained including 25 people who were staying in the country illegally. Patrick Feys of the Federal Police explained that the operation targeted criminal acts on and in the vicinity of public transport services:
“Thursday's operation targeted fare-dodgers, people in possession of drugs or illegal arms, undocumented people, etc. The most important thing is that we are able to co-operate in an integrated way and that the different police services can deploy a large police force in the field in order to tackle subjective feelings of insecurity and to show that we are present en masse in all stations.”
900 people were travelling without a valid ticket and now face payment of a fine.
The police say that Thursday's massive operation will not be a one-off and further checks can be expected.