Belgian authorities are reportedly expected to issue a European Arrest Warrant for the transfer of a smuggler, whose passengers would pay over $5000 each in attempt to reach the United Kingdom.
A 25-year-old Iraqi man has been arrested in the UK following a DNA match, allegedly linking him to a van used to smuggle people from Belgium to Britain.
According to a Monday statement by Belgian prosecution, the suspect’s “DNA profile corresponds to the fabrics found on the steering wheel”.
The detainee, who is suspected of smuggling 26 adults and four children in a Peugeot van, has in May 2018 fled the scene of a police shootout that killed a two-year-old Iraqi Kurd girl. Mawda Shawri was traveling with her parents, who tried to get to the UK.
According to Belgian police, who chased the van, officers were aiming to shoot the vehicle’s tyre. However, as shots were fired, the toddler, sitting in her mother’s lap, was killed.
Mawda’s death triggered protests by demonstrators, who lashed out at Belgium’s tough migrant policy.
Thousands of people turned out for her funeral of Mawda Shawri, while Belgium’s interior minister has described Mawda’s death as “tragic.”
It has later emerged that the toddler’s life could have been saved through more effective communication between police in Belgium and France.
A Flemish newspaper reported that French police forces were aware the van had been used for smuggling people.