Dutch ports are again becoming more popular among people smugglers. Last year, the Marechaussee picked up 567 refugees who wanted to cross into Great Britain in vans, trucks and trailers. This is a quarter more than a year ago.
Hoek van Holland, like last year, is where most illegal immigrants were discovered, but last year especially at Europoort near Rotterdam, there was a marked increase in the number of migrants hiding in trailers, containers or pallets. The number of detained refugees increased from 138 to 242; almost doubles.
The port of IJmuiden has not been very popular with climbers for a long time, but that seems to have changed; The number of discovered refugees increased from 10 to 43.
The Marechaussee has already seen a large number of climbers in the ports this year. The counter stands at 145 arrests in the first three months of the year. In addition to the climbing method, the refugees also try to cross the North Sea by inflatable boats.
Failed escape attempts are still far from the level they were four years ago. The Marechaussee then picked up 910 refugees. This was due to stricter controls in France and Belgium.
In the Netherlands, it is mainly about Albanians trying to come to the UK, Marechaussee suspects for economic reasons. Families often become burdened with debts to pay for transit, or are exploited to pay for the journey.
The trips themselves are not without danger. Sometimes the refugees are actually hiding in trucks in Germany. “Sometimes we are surprised when we find someone again among the white goods or food, and sometimes we are sad when we find families with young children. Especially due to the fact that they were on the road for days between their excrement on water and bread to be able to cross,” said spokesman Robert Van Capel.
In 2015, for example, 71 migrants suffocated in a truck in Hungary. Four smugglers were sentenced to life imprisonment.
The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee tracks climbers with detection dogs. They are specially trained to smell people. Information is also shared with other countries about the routes that refugees use to reach England.
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