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Belgian gets life for smuggling cocaine into Cambodia

A Cambodian court jailed a Belgian man for life for smuggling a kilogramme of cocaine into the kingdom, a court official said. David Catry, 34, was arrested in January at Phnom Penh’s airport with the contraband in his suitcase, which he had carried from Brazil. He was found guilty of drug smuggling, according to Y Rin, a spokesman for Phnom ... Read More »

Smugglers ‘abusing’ soft Ireland border checks to get people into UK, National Crime Agency warns

People smugglers are “abusing” soft border controls between Ireland and the UK to get their human cargo past authorities, the National Crime Agency (NCA) has warned. Officials told The Independent they were concerned about an increase in the number of gangs found to be working through the common travel area, which the government has said it wants to maintain after ... Read More »

People smugglers detained in the UK and Belgium

The large scale operation that was mounted by Belgium’s Federal Police service and the UK’s National Crime Agency was directed against a gang that smuggled people from Iraq to the UK. Arrests were made a several locations in the northwest of England and in Ghent. According to the British authorities, the gang smuggled 3,000 migrants into Europe illegally during a ... Read More »

Smugglers jailed over £3.5m Belgium to Leeds tobacco haul

Members of a gang avoided £3.5m in tax by smuggling tobacco into the UK have been jailed. The defendants, all from Leeds, were caught after a Belgian lorry that had delivered to a warehouse in the city was stopped at Dover. The lorry was found to contain almost £500,000 in cash, hidden in holdalls in the back of ovens. Packets ... Read More »

People smugglers detained in the UK and Belgium

An international police operation in the UK and here in Belgium has resulted in the arrest of five of members of a suspected people smuggling gang. Two suspected people smugglers were detained in the East Flemish city of Ghent. The large scale operation that was mounted by Belgium’s Federal Police service and the UK’s National Crime Agency was directed against ... Read More »

Belgian gets life on cocaine smuggling charges in Cambodia

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — A Cambodian court sentenced a Belgian man to life in prison on charges of smuggling cocaine into the country. David Noel Catry was convicted of trafficking 1.03 kilograms (2.27 pounds) of cocaine earlier this year, said Ei Rin, a spokesman for the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. Catry, 34, was arrested in January at Phnom Penh International ... Read More »

Belgian justice authorities consult Dexia clients’ Panama papers

Two years after the first Panama papers were leaked, Belgian justice authorities have had access for the first time to some 11 million documents from the Mossack Fonseca Panamanian cabinet, Le Soir and De Tijd newspapers, and Knack magazine reported. The investigators, including investigating judge Michel Claise went to Germany last week and were able to obtain the papers. They ... Read More »

Launch Of The First Commercial Flight By Air Belgium

The inauguration of flights to Hong Kong, the first long haul destination in the history of Charleroi airport, marks the launch of the latest Belgian airline. This inaugural flight was originally scheduled for the end of April but was delayed pending authorisation from Russia to fly over its territory; this did not prevent the airline from operating a series of ... Read More »

Doel Nuclear Plant Shut Own After Disruption

Belgian nuclear reactor Doel 4, just across the Dutch border, shut down automatically due to a fault on Saturday evening. The shutdown was an automatic procedure and there is no danger for the environment and the population, a Doel spokesperson said, ANP reports. According to reports in Belgian media, the fault occurred in the non-nuclear part of the plant. The ... Read More »

New Wind Farm Planned In Belgian Part Of The North Sea

European demand for energy is growing. The European Union aims to provide a guaranteed, affordable and climate-friendly energy supply for its residents and businesses. It has formulated objectives for 2020, 2030 and 2050. Belgium is choosing to build renewable energy sources, such as wind farms, in order to meet its targets. This means that CO₂ emissions will be lower. In ... Read More »

Judge imposes change of flight routes over North of Brussels

The federal government will have to pay high penalties if it does not adapt flight routes over the Northern periphery of Brussels, in virtue of the decision rendered in referral, Wednesday, by a Flemish-speaking judge of the Brussels Court, reported Thursday De Standaard. The message is sent to the Minister of Mobility, according to the daily paper. As per the ... Read More »

Ken Loach responds angrily to Belgian PM in antisemitism row

Ken Loach has responded with fury at a hastily convened press conference to a suggestion by the Belgian prime minister that a leading university was wrong to honour him following complaints that it had overlooked allegations of antisemitism. An hour before the 81-year-old British director received his honorary degree from the free university of Brussels (ULB) on Thursday, he told ... Read More »

Brexit, US protectionism challenge Belgium’s ports

Brexit and U.S. protectionism represent significant challenges for the future of Belgium’s ports, the governor of the National Bank of Belgium (BNB), Jan Smets, said. Smets, who was in Bruges for the presentation of a report on the economic interests of Belgian ports, said Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, Brexit, could have a considerable influence on Zeebruges. “Links with ... Read More »

CBC/KBC revises growth forecast downward

The CBC/KBC bank insurance group has revised its 2018 economic growth forecast for Belgium from the original 1.9% to 1.6%, citing the risk of heightened trade conflicts, political uncertainty and higher oil prices. The group’s forecast is less optimistic than others since the average prediction was 1.8%. The CBC/KBC economists expect “a serious slowdown” in the economy this year, says ... Read More »

Strike will cost Brussels Airlines €9.4 million

The financial impact of the two-day strike announced by the pilots of Brussels Airlines will amount to €4.7 million per day or about €9.4 million in total, reported media on Friday. The unions representing the pilots announced a strike for Monday 14 and Wednesday 16 May due in particular to the lack of an agreement with the management on the ... Read More »

Brussels to get a Mexican flower carpet in August

The flower carpet in central Brussels (16-19 August) will have a Mexican touch this year. The Beurs square will also have a floral exhibition this year, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the listing of the Grand Place as UNESCO World Heritage, under the name “Monuments of UNESCO flowers”. The Brussels ‘Grand Place’ first had a flower carpet in 1971. ... Read More »

Iran deal: Belgian businesses fear future

Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal is set to hit businesses on the other side of the Atlantic, here in Europe. Belgium exports to Iran totalled more than half a billion euros in 2017. No wonder then, that its businesses have got the jitters about US sanctions. “There is this fear of direct punishment and ... Read More »

Carat tax yields more revenue than expected

A special tax on diamonds earned the State 68.4 million euros in 2017, beating a budget forecast of 50 million euros and dwarfing 2016’s tally of 51.2 million euros, De Standaard and de Gazet van Antwerpen dailies reported on Monday. Under the “Carat tax”, as it is called, diamond companies pay the normal corporate taxes, which amounted to 33.99% in ... Read More »

Hema Chain to be sold to Belgian investor

The Dutch chain of stores, Hema, is soon to become Belgian, according to information in the Dutch newspaper, De Telegraaf, reported on Wednesday by De Standaard. Brussels investor Core Equity Holdings is reportedly close to concluding an acquisition agreement, the Dutch newspaper reported four sources from the financial and distribution sectors as confirming. An oral accord on the broad lines ... Read More »

Financial authority warns against crypto-currency investment scams

The Financial Services and Markets Authority, FSMA, warned against platforms proposing investments in crypto-currencies and said it had drawn up a list of about 40 platforms suspected of fraud. The FSMA explained that these operators claim to offer the best trading platforms, enabling anyone, from beginners to professionals, to trade in crypto-currencies instantaneously and in all confidence. Some also propose ... Read More »