Antwerp police and customs carry out checks on international coach passengers

A large scale police operation was mounted in Antwerp on Saturday to check the identities of passengers using low coast international bus services. The passengers and their luggage were also search for drugs. 41 of the 171 people checked were found to be carrying illegal drugs. A number of the passengers were also found to be in Belgium without the required document entitling them to be here. Three people that were being sought by the Judicial Authorities were also found. 

A number of the busses checked didn’t have the required licences or other paperwork required for them to operate legally.  

The checks meant delays to services operated by low cost coach companies such as Eurolines, Flixbus and Ecolines. The local and federal police services joined forces with the customs, the Antwerp Judicial authorities and the Aliens’ Office to carry out checks on scheduled international international coach services. It was the third time that such an operation had been staged. A total of 168- people were involved.   

A police helicopter was used to locate the busses that were then diverted under police escort to the Gendarmerie barracks in the Antwerp suburb of Wilrijk. There the drivers, the passengers and their luggage were checked.     

Almost a quarter in possession of drug

Of the 171 people checked 41 were either in possession of drugs or had traces of drugs on their person or in their luggage. The drugs found were amphetamines, MDMA and heroin. Three undocumented aliens were found as were three people that were being sought by the Judicial Authorities. Two of these were detained.     

There busses were found not to have the licence required for them to be able to carry passengers. Two of the coaches were able to provide the authorities will a copy of the licence a little later and were allowed to continue their journey. The other was unable to do so and was confiscated as it also had technical issues.