Wildwest along E40

Wildwest along E40

World January 30, 2018 04:33

great bearings/zellik - Additional safety measures should make it more difficult for migrants to climb on board trucks. Belgium is full of problems along the E40 highway towards the coast and hopes that people smugglers will be moved by firmer action.

From the home of Marleen De Breuker you can still see the Texaco filling station in the Groot-Bijgaarden car park. She lives on the outskirts of the village Zellik, the traffic of the nearby E40 is clearly heard. 'They climb the fence here at night,' she says. She shows a loose latch of a garden fence, collapsed under the weight of someone who has stood on it.

'We are not used to anything else. It has been going on like this for years ', says De Breuker. But still, lately the nuisance has become more intense. The vegetable garden is now bare, but if something grows, much is stolen. And everywhere people are doing their needs and lying down.

Minister Jambon (Home Affairs) has announced measures for five parking lots where many truckers spend the night. The police started with checks there last night. Because as soon as it is dark the big problems start. A private company will take over the work as quickly as possible.

Jambon announced more measures. The police will carry out daily control actions at train stations, along motorways and in the port of Zeebrugge. The aim is to prevent illegal migration and people smuggling. The actions will last 'as long as necessary', the minister said.

The size was really full after a brawl one and a half weeks ago when a group of forty illegal immigrants attacked several agents in the parking lot of Groot-Bijgaarden. A policeman had to unload a warning shot to get everything calm again.

The migrants, mainly from Africa, hang around Brussels during the day, especially around the North Station and Maximilian Park. In the evening, they are dropped by smugglers in the vicinity of the highway to climb on board trucks. They hope to end in England.

Truck drivers are becoming increasingly insecure. Some even sleep with a knife, because there are also migrants who are not afraid of that violence. The Serbian truck driver Sredoja Stranjancevic knows the stories about the stowaways all too well.

He has a rest at Groot-Bijgaarden, but will not spend the night there wisely. 'The problems play at all parking places towards the coast. But I do not understand those migrants because the controls are strict. They have scanners and dogs in Dunkirk. '

In Zellik there are traces everywhere of the illegal immigrants who wander around in the evening and at night. At the edge of a field is a coat, gloves, a shoe and other items of clothing. The stuff has been left behind by refugees who have made a vain attempt to climb into a truck. Since they have a problem in the shelter when they come back under the mud, they dump their stuff that they have often received from Belgian volunteers.

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