Dutch cops found nearly 1,480 migrants hidden in trucks, containers last year

A Koninklijke Marechaussee officer and sniffer dog
A Koninklijke Marechaussee officer and sniffer dogPhoto: Koninklijke Marechaussee/Facebook

Last year the Koninklijke Marechaussee and the Seaport police found a total of 1,480 documented migrants hiding in trucks, trailers or containers, compared to 1,371 in 2018 and 944 in 2017. The largest part of this group concerned people from Afghanistan and Albania trying to get to the United Kingdom. 

The Ministry of Justice and Security told NOS that the number of stowaways has been fluctuating for years. "The controls were tightened in 2015 when it appeared that the number was increasing. That has had effect, and that is why we will continue to pursue this effort."

The Ministry spokesperson stressed that stowing away can be life threatening and creates significant cost for society. The Ministry will therefore look into further measures, such as more sniffer dogs.

DFDS Seaways, the Danish shipping company that operates the ferry between IJmuiden and Newcastle, found 325 stowaways last year - a significant decrease compared to the 475 found the year before. "There were more individual stowaways," DFDS director Ralph Bosman said to NOS.

The company also looked at the statistics and took measures based on that, Bosman said. "For example, what time is the most popular? That turned out to be mainly in the morning. What turned out: German drivers sleep along the highway at night. Then the migrants climb in."