THE HAGUE: Dutch and British police have arrested four suspected human traffickers and rescued four teenage girls hidden in the back of a camping car headed for Britain, Dutch prosecutors said on Monday.
Two of the suspects and their human cargo were on their way to Rotterdam to catch a ferry to Britain when Dutch gendarmes searched their camping car at a rest stop near the southern Dutch town of Bergen op Zoom on Thursday.
“The marechaussee (gendarmes) went into action after receiving a British request for help,” the Public Prosecutor’s office said in a statement. British police have arrested a man in the northern city of Hull in connection with the case. There is a regular ferry service between Rotterdam and Hull. A fourth man was arrested on Friday in Beverwijk, northwest of Amsterdam.
Ali Muhammed Raza, 38, appeared on Saturday morning in a Hull court, charged with four counts of facilitating illegal entry, plus conspiracy to facilitate illegal entry, Britain’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) said in a statement. The three other suspects, two Iraqi nationals and a man from Turkey, aged between 24 and 34, are expected to be extradited to Britain soon.
“We believe those arrested were members of a well-established people-smuggling racket that was preying on vulnerable females in order to line their own pockets,” said SOCA spokeswoman Jane Johnson. AFP