Last year, the Dutch authorities arrested 28 individuals who were suspected of being involved in people smuggling.
This number is more than double the 11 arrests made in 2021.
It is now a new record for the Netherlands, as reported by the TV program Het Misdaadbureau on Omroep WNL, using figures from the Koninklijke Marechaussee.
The individuals allegedly supplied criminal organizations with rubber boats, outboard motors, and life jackets, which were used for smuggling people from the Belgian or French coast to the United Kingdom under life-threatening conditions.
The Koninklijke Marechaussee, responsible for border security and works alongside the Dutch military, has expressed serious concern about the state of the materials they seized.
People smugglers are increasingly risking people’s lives by using glued-together rubber boats and life jackets that are not sea-worthy.
In the Netherlands, inner tubes have been found to be used as life jackets for the first time.
The Koninklijke Marechaussee’s spokesperson said this is “degrading and life-threatening” and that “with this, they will not survive the crossing.”
The Koninklijke Marechaussee seized hundreds of life jackets, rubber boats, and outboard motors in the past year.
These materials were discovered hidden in the Netherlands’ warehouses, containers, and homes.
During roadside checks, some were also found in vehicles with blacked-out windows.
The smuggling of people is a serious criminal offense, and the Dutch authorities are committed to cracking down on these illegal activities.
They encourage anyone with information about people smuggling to come forward and report it.