THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch military police found 47 illegal migrants hidden in a truck that was about to board a ferry to the United Kingdom, the force said Wednesday.
The men, women and children of various nationalities were discovered Tuesday night in the port town of Hook of Holland after a dog trained to sniff out people alerted officers, the Marechaussee force said in a statement.
The Dutch truck driver was detained on suspicion of people smuggling, and his illicit passengers will be handed over to migration authorities in the Netherlands, according to the statement.
Interceptions of such large numbers of migrants are rare in the Netherlands, but further along the North Sea coast, thousands of people from around the world travel to northern France each year in hopes of crossing the English Channel to the U.K.
More than 27,300 have done that this year, a decline on the 46,000 who made the journey in all of 2022.
Last month, the U.K. Supreme Court ruled that the government's plan to send some people arriving by boat on a one-way trip to Rwanda — intended to discourage others from making the risky sea crossing — was illegal because Rwanda isn't a safe country for refugees.
The government said that it would strike a new treaty with Rwanda to address the court’s concerns. Britain has already paid the East African country at least 140 million pounds ($176 million) under the agreement inked in April 2022, but no one has yet been set to Rwanda.
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