Dutch gendarmerie officials found a group of 47 immigrants, including children, traveling illegally hidden in a goods truck passing through border controls. before taking a ferry from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom.
As reported this Wednesday by the gendarmerie (Marechaussee, in Dutch), 47 people were found during a routine check last night at the Hoek van Holland pier, a port located in South Holland, where the truck was scheduled to board a ferry to cross the North Sea to the United Kingdom.
Vehicle registration took place after a police dog alert that can help with immigration control customs and is trained to recognize human scent.
“After opening the truck, many people will be seen immediately. Some are hidden under or among the items stored in the truck. After a thorough search, a total of 47 immigrants were found. The group is made up of men, women, and children of different nationalities,” said the gendarmerie, without giving further details on the origin of these people.
The truck driver, who has Dutch nationality, was arrested on suspicion of human trafficking while the authorities are investigating under the supervision of the prosecutor’s office of the city of Rotterdam.
In recent years, the Dutch Police have strengthened controls on refrigerated containers and trucks in search of people trying to arrive in the United Kingdom illegally.
Last year, at least 39 people were arrested during a cross-border operation in which Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom managed to dismantle one of the most active criminal networks of small-scale immigrant trafficking boats through the English Channel.
That network’s “half market share” is illegal.