Jan Jambon: “The real fight is against the human traffickers”

5 September 2018

“The objective of the police operations is to dismantle the human traffickers’ networks.” This is how Minister of the Interior Jan Jambon reacted to criticism that transmigrants who had been arrested were being released. “The transmigrants are just poor souls looking for a better life. The real challenge is dealing with the human traffickers, who take advantage of the transmigrants and give them false hopes. The police services understand this.”

Mapping out smuggling rings

Minister Jambon wants to map out the smuggling rings through police operations. “Transmigrants are arrested in order to gather information about criminal networks. This can be done, for example, by examining their mobile phones to see with whom they have been in contact. The goal is to catch the human traffickers who are earning huge amounts of money from these poor souls by giving them false hopes,” Jan Jambon explains.

Force of attraction

The Minister points to the United Kingdom’s drawing power. “As long as you can get into the regular economy in the United Kingdom, even if you are there illegally, Belgium will continue to have to deal with flows of people who want to go to that country. We must try to get the United Kingdom to carry out identity checks, but that will not solve the issue in the short term,” Jan Jambon says.

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