Trying to evade customs controls on the public road? Think again! Chances are that a military drone is flying at high altitudes to help catch drivers fleeing from roadside checks. And just to be clear: the unmanned gear is obviously unarmed.
Customs Officers are active on Belgian roads every day. They are looking for drugs, weapons, cash and goods for which import duties are due. The detection of red diesel abuse is also a task of the customs authorities. And they can also collect unpaid fines. However, drivers with a bad conscience often flee when they see the checkpoints. Customs Officers do not always have the means to engage in pursuit.
The use of military observation drones offers a solution. The drones are flying so high that fleeing drivers will not even see them in military terms.
The use of military drones on Belgian domestic soil is not entirely new. Unmanned observation devices have long been cycling over the North Sea and the Ardennes, in the fight against oil pollution and for nature conservation. And also above the port of Antwerp they have already been used in the context of the increased terrorist threat level.