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Prosecution raises charges against human smugglers who transported migrants saved by police

Hungary's public prosecution service has raised charges against two human smugglers who transported migrants in a van that was crowded beyond its capacity, and it was only thanks to police action that their lives were saved.

The smugglers are charged with bodily harm of the migrants who were crammed into their vehicle to the extent that their lives were put in danger, Pest County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement on Tuesday.

The two foreign suspects entered Hungary in a van rented in Belgium in April 2022. They are charged with selling transport services to migrants who illegally entered Hungary across the Hungary-Serbia border to the Hungary-Austria border.

Fully 19 illegal migrants were transported near Kophaza on April 21, while three days later 38 people were crammed into the same van with cargo space of barely 13 cubic meters. The drive to the Austrian border took almost 3 hours non-stop as the migrants struggled to breathe.

The driver only stopped when police pulled the van aside near Inarcs, 20km southeast of Budapest, the statement said.

One of the migrants was in a life-threatening condition due to lack of oxygen and water, according to the charges.

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