200 illegal Indian immigrants arrested in Belgium

October 19th, 2008 - 4:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Brussels, Oct 19 (IANS) The Belgian police have arrested 15 human traffickers and 200 illegal immigrants from India, mainly from Punjab, EuAsiaNews reported Sunday. According to the Belgian media, police Saturday raided houses as well as a gurdwara in Brussels and in Vilvoorde and Tubize municipalities near the capital.

The arrested immigrants were living in safe houses, which were being used as places of hiding for illegal immigrants. In one house in Brussels, 24 people were packed in one room, Flanders radio and television (VRT) reported.

A network of human traffickers is believed to have been operating in Belgium for the past one year and a half. Hundreds of illegal immigrants from India have allegedly been smuggled through Belgium into Britain, VRT said.

Investigation into the network started after two human traffickers operating from India were arrested.

Illegal immigrants are willing to pay up to $6,500 to the smugglers to be transported into European countries.

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