Police detain 16 suspected transit migrants in Wommelgem

The Federal Police Service in Antwerp reports that 16 suspected transit migrants were detained at Wommelgem, near Antwerp on Monday night. The Federal Police had mounted a joint operation with a number of local police services to intercept transit migrants along the E34/E313 motorway. There, as along the country’s other motorways there are issues with transit migrants en route to the UK.   

Of the 16 people detained, 14 said that they were from Eritrea, 1 said that they were from Iraq and 1 said that they were from Sudan. 11 of the 16 say that they are younger than 18.

The Federal Police services has organised numerous operation in the area in an effort to discourage transit migrants and people the criminal gangs behind the people smuggling networks. smugglers.

The operations centre on Wommelgem, east of Antwerp and the near-by parking facilities along the E34/E313 motorway. Recently transit migrants have been using busses and trams to reach the car park along the motorway. It is there that the transit migrants are loaded into the trailers of lorries heading for the UK. As well as various police services, the Aliens Office and the Flemish public transport company De Lijn was involved in the operation.