Monthly flights to expel criminal illegals

Theo Francken, Belgium's Asylum and Migration Secretary, has told the daily Het Laatste Nieuws that he would like to see a charter flight with criminals who are staying in Belgium illegally leave the country each and every month: "Organising special flights is cheaper and more efficient than having them expelled on regular flights."

So far two such flights have been staged. Last month a flight left Belgium bound for Congo with 19 Congolese nationals on board. On Wednesday a flight from Belgium arrived in the Albanian capital Tirana with no fewer than 38 illegal aliens on board. Most of these people had come to the attention of the police in connection with burglaries, illegal arms possession or vice offences. In all 67 police officers had to be deployed to supervise the expulsions.

Mr Francken told the daily that these 'Special Flights' formed a priority for his department.

"I want to increase the number of charter flights from one a quarter to one a month. The next six flights for the first months of 2015 have already been scheduled. Countries in Africa, Central and Eastern Europe are the destinations."

Twelve flights with 30 passengers on board each go would mean 360 people are being expelled a year. The figure is greater than in previous years, but still a fraction of the total number of illegal aliens in Belgium.

Theo Francken: "The flights will also have an impact as a deterrent in these countries of origin."

The plane being used for the expulsions is the same one used by King Filip when he travels abroad.