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Belgian police arrest 15 NRIs and Indians for smuggling
200 illegal immigrants from India to Britain

BRUSSELS, Oct. 18, 2008
Manoj Gupta

Belgian police arrested 15 members of a Indian origin-smuggling ring who were in the process of moving over 200 illegal immigrants from India to Britain.

Tim De Wolf, an assistant prosecutor said:

  • "This operation proved that this is happening on a large scale, because we found more than 215 illegal Indians in suspected safe-houses
  • All illegal Indians were waiting to be transferred to the United Kingdom.
  • The bust followed a year-long investigation, and caught the immigrants as they awaited the last leg of a journey that started in the Punjab region of India.
  • Most of the illegal Indians had paid more than $20,000 for the whole trip
  • We suspect that in a year we are speaking about thousands of illegal Indians passing through Belgium to the UK
  • Smuggling ring would either pay up to 5,000 euros to travel in the trailer of a lorry driver who was aware and would try to evade police, or they could gamble by paying 2,000 euros to be smuggled into the trailer of an unsuspecting driver

According to local news media, the Britain is a top destination for the immigrants because it already has
a large Indian community, allowing them to blend in.

The smuggling ring, traffickers face up to ten years in prison. The illegal Indian immigrants will be released within five days.