28 facilitators of people smuggling arrested in Netherlands last year; A new record
The Dutch authorities arrested 28 people last year suspected of facilitating people smuggling. That is more than double the 11 arrests made in 2021 and a new record for the Netherlands, Omroep WNL program Het Misdaadbureau reported based on figures from the Koninklijke Marecaussee.
The suspects allegedly supplied rubber boats, outboard motors, and life jackets to criminal organizations responsible for smuggling people from the Belgian or French coast to the United Kingdom in life-threatening conditions. The Marechaussee, a policing force that works as part of the Dutch military and is responsible for border security, is very concerned about the state of the materials they seized.
According to the Marechaussee, people smugglers are increasingly risking people’s lives by making them cross the sea in glued-together rubber boats and life jackets that are absolutely not sea-worthy. In the past year, the Marechaussee found inner tubes to serve as life jackets for the first time in the Netherlands. “This is degrading and life-threatening. With this, they won’t survive the crossing,” a spokesperson said to the program.
In the past year, the Koninklijke Marechaussee seized hundreds of life jackets and dozens of rubber boats and outboard motors. They found these materials hidden in warehouses, containers, and homes in the Netherlands. They also found some in vehicles with blacked-out windows during roadside checks.