October 1, 2022

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Police seize human smugglers' private planes at Wevilgeme Airport: Passengers carrying forged diplomatic passports |  Kortrijk

Police seize human smugglers’ private planes at Wevilgeme Airport: Passengers carrying forged diplomatic passports | Kortrijk

Wevelgem / KortrijkTwo private planes that were in a closed shed at Wevelgem-Kortrijk Airport were seized. The shed was rented by a gang that organized human smuggling by private jets. “It appears that people smuggling for VIPs is also present,” says Federal Minister of Justice Vincent van Quekenborn (Open Vld).

In an international police operation, which included police forces from Belgium, Italy, Germany, France, Austria and the United States, a warehouse at Wevelgeme Airport was raided on Tuesday. The shed was rented by two people who belonged to the gang of people smugglers. In the shed, investigators found two private planes that had been seized. There have also been police raids in Italy, Germany and France. In total, five people were arrested, two of them in our country. Since then their arrest has been confirmed. The action was led by an investigative judge in Brussels.

(Read more below the photo)

The two planes seized. © Henk Delio

20000 Euro

people smuggling through Business Aviation It is “du jamais vu”, according to the police. Passengers passengers, mostly of Kurdish origin, on a private plane in Turkey hold forged diplomatic passports. “They have officially traveled to the Caribbean, but they have never reached that destination,” Justice Minister Vincent van Quekenborn said. “During their layover at a European airport, they got off the plane and destroyed their forged documents. Then they applied for asylum. Extortionate prices of up to 20,000 USD (approximately the same in Euros) were collected per person. This is clearly not for the average asylum seeker, but it appears that People smuggling for VIPs is also present,” says Van Quekenborn. “This also relates to organizations that make a lot of money from people.”

Minister of Justice Vincent van Quekenborn (Open Vld) was also present at the police action.

Minister of Justice Vincent van Quekenborn (Open Vld) was also present at the police action. © Henk Delio

Creator

Dozens of people were brought to Europe in this way during at least five smuggling operations, in different locations. The organization had plans to conduct more operations. These people acted professionally and managed to stay under the radar. You see that people are very creative in finding all kinds of styles when there is a lot of money to be made somewhere. We have now been able to stop this criminal gang.” The organization has also been involved in issuing fake checks and defrauding airlines in an effort to build its own fleet.

The number of detained migrants decreased in the first half of 2022

The people smugglers who were convicted after 39 Vietnamese deaths all claim the innocent: “My client doesn’t even speak English. How can he give these orders?” (+)

Three suspects have been extradited from Germany after a major investigation in the Flemish West into people smuggling by boats

People smuggling by planes

People smuggling by planes © Henk Delio



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