Illustration – Photo: wikipedia

Charges raised against Syrian, seven accomplices for human smuggling

The Kecskemet regional prosecutor has raised charges against a Syrian man and his seven accomplices suspected of transporting at least seventy illegal migrants in exchange for payment from areas around Szeged and Baja to the Austrian border.

The members of the criminal group are accused of organised people smuggling for a profit, Gabor Schmidt, spokesman of the Bacs-Kiskun County public prosecutor’s office, said on Friday.

The group was headed by an as yet unidentified Arab male who used a mobile application to send pickup location information, the number of migrants, and the destination to the Syrian man living in Kecskemet, he said.

The Syrian suspect acted as a coordinator who distributed the instructions and gave payments to drivers, he added. Additionally, the Syrian occasionally drove ahead of the transporters and warned them of any police presence, he said.

The migrants were transported between September and November 2020 by five drivers aged between 17 and 20 at the time, using rented cars. They normally received 250 euros for each migrant but occasionally 500 euros.

In addition to the Syrian man and the drivers, the man’s common-law wife and the mother of one of the drivers also helped to arrange the transports.

The Syrian man and three of the drivers are under criminal supervision.

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