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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
00THEHAGUE1867 2000-06-22 13:54:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy The Hague
Cable title:  

DUTCH RESPOND TO UK ALIEN SMUGGLING TRAGEDY

Tags:   KCRM SMIG CVIS PINR ASEC CH NL EUN KPRD 
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					  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