Human trafficking trial gets underway
VRT Flanders News
Wed 06/12/06- The trial of twelve people accused of being part of a gang that smuggled as many as 100,000 illegal immigrants into the United Kingdom got underway in Brussels on Wednesday morning.
The twelve accused are believed to be the Belgian arm of a criminal organisation that was active in France the Netherlands, Germany, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
Would-be illegal immigrants paid the gang large sums of money to be smuggled in.
One of those on trial in Brussels, is believed to be a ring leader of the international human trafficking gang.
His counsel's request for the trial to be adjourned fell on deaf ears.
Women sexually assaulted, kids drugged
The Centre for Equal Opportunities and the Fight Against Racism says that the gang treated the illegal immigrates as sub-human.
Not only were they charged large sums of money to be smuggled in, but female illegal immigrants were subjected to sexual abuse and there are indications that some of them even ended up working as prostitutes.
Astronomical sums were demanded for the transportation of children.
One woman's offer of 22,000 euros to smuggle her two children into the United Kingdom was turned down by the gang, as they claimed that children are more important and therefore it should cost more to smuggle them in.
Important or not, children were drugged by the gang to keep them quiet during the journey.