US embassy cable - 00THEHAGUE1867

DUTCH RESPOND TO UK ALIEN SMUGGLING TRAGEDY

Identifier: 00THEHAGUE1867
Wikileaks: View 00THEHAGUE1867 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy The Hague
Created: 2000-06-22 13:54:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: KCRM SMIG CVIS PINR ASEC CH NL EUN KPRD
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS THE HAGUE 001867 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
STATE FOR PRM, DRL, INR, EUR/ERA, EUR/UBI, INR/I 
 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KCRM, SMIG, CVIS, PINR, ASEC, CH, NL, EUN, KPRD 
SUBJECT:  DUTCH RESPOND TO UK ALIEN SMUGGLING TRAGEDY 
 
 
1. THE GON REACTED WITH BOTH WORDS AND ACTIONS TO THE JUNE 
19 DISCOVERY IN THE UK OF 58 VICTIMS OF ALIEN SMUGGLING. 
 
 
2. BECAUSE THE TRUCK IN WHICH THE VICTIMS WERE DISCOVERED IS 
OF DUTCH REGISTRATION AND THE DRIVER IS DUTCH, THE GON 
BECAME IMMEDIATELY INVOLVED.  IT HAS SINCE ARRESTED BOTH THE 
DUTCH FATHER OF THE DRIVER AND THE DUTCH OWNER OF THE 
COMPANY THAT OWNS THE TRUCK.  FURTHER INVESTIGATIONS BY THE 
GON INTO THE DUTCH CONNECTION TO THE TRAGEDY ARE ONGOING. 
 
 
3. PM WIM KOK DESCRIBED THE DEATHS AS DEEPLY TRAGIC AND 
IMMEDIATELY CALLED FOR STRONGER PUNISHMENTS FOR ALIEN 
SMUGGLERS.  SINCE 1996, THE MAXIMUM PENALTY FOR ORGANIZED 
ALIEN SMUGGLING HAS BEEN 8 YEARS IN PRISON.  STATE SECRETARY 
COHEN OF THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE, HOWEVER, CALLED FOR CLOSER 
POLICE COOPERATION IN EUROPE TO COMBAT SMUGGLING RATHER THAN 
STRONGER PENALTIES. 
 
 
4. DESPITE DUTCH EMPHASIS ON PUNISHING THOSE ARRESTED, THOSE 
RESPONSIBLE MIGHT NOT BE PROSECUTABLE UNDER DUTCH LAW. 
ALIEN SMUGGLING IS ONLY ILLEGAL IN THE NETHERLANDS IF THE 
ACT OCCURRED IN THE NETHERLANDS OR THE PERSONS HAD BEEN 
TRANSPORTED TO ANOTHER SIGNATORY COUNTRY OF THE SCHENGEN 
TREATY.  BECAUSE THE UK IS NOT A SIGNATORY COUNTRY AND THERE 
IS NOT YET PROOF THAT ANY ACT TOOK PLACE WITHIN THE 
BOUNDARIES OF THE NETHERLANDS, PROSECUTION MIGHT NOT BE 
POSSIBLE HERE DESPITE THE INVOLVEMENT OF DUTCH NATIONALS, A 
DUTCH VEHICLE, AND A DUTCH COMPANY.  JUSTICE MINISTER 
KORTHALS, HOWEVER, BELIEVES THAT IT IS POSSIBLE TO PROSECUTE 
ALIEN SMUGGLERS UNDER DUTCH LAW FOR ACTS OF SMUGGLING 
COMMITTED OUTSIDE THE NETHERLANDS IN CASES WHERE THE CRIME 
IS ACTUALLY ORGANIZED AND PLANNED IN THE NETHERLANDS. 
 
 
5. ALIEN SMUGGLING CONTINUES TO BE A SERIOUS PROBLEM IN THE 
NETHERLANDS, AND COMBATING ALIEN SMUGGLING IS A HIGH 
PRIORITY OF THE GON.  IN 1993, ALIEN SMUGGLING FIRST BECAME 
A CRIME.  IN 1998, THE GON SET UP A SPECIALIZED TASK FORCE 
TO COMBAT ALIEN SMUGGLING.  AS A RESULT, THE NUMBER OF 
PERSONS CONVICTED FOR ALIEN SMUGGLING HAS INCREASED SIX FOLD 
FROM 16 TO 102 SINCE 1995.  IN 1999 THERE WERE 221 ALIEN 
SMUGGLING INVESTIGATIONS COMPARED TO 4 IN 1994. 
 
 
SCHNEIDER 

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