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Belgian people smuggler who caused mass accident sentenced to 8 years

A court in southern Hungary on Wednesday sentenced a 26-year-old Belgian people smuggler, who caused a mass accident involving a fatality in Csongrad-Csanad County at the beginning of 2022, to eight years in prison without the possibility of parole.

The man was sentenced for the crimes of organised people smuggling and causing a road accident involving a fatality. The Szeged court also imposed an eight-year driving ban and exclusion from Hungary for ten years.

As part of an international criminal organisation, the man transported illegal migrants from Serbia to central parts of the European Union for the payment of 300 euros per passenger.

On Feb 16, he and other gang members transported 28 people in two groups in a rented van which was unventilated and sealed.

Driving at high speed, he hit a reinforced concrete electricity pole before crashing into the wall of a flower shop, resulting in the death of one person, while one of the passengers was permanently disabled. Nineteen people suffered serious injuries while were lightly hurt.

The court took into consideration the man’s admission of his guilt and his cooperation in identifying the members of the criminal organisation based in Belgium, as well as the fact that he was also seriously injured in the accident, as mitigating factors.

The defendant has asked to serve his sentence in his home country.

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