The Csongrád-Csanád County Prosecutor General’s Office has filed charges against 19 Iraqi, Palestinian, and Hungarian citizens for their involvement in the smuggling of at least 160 migrants into Western Europe between December 2019 and October 2020, a spokesperson for the Csongrád-Csanád County Prosecutor General’s Office told MTI on Wednesday.
Ferenc Szanka said that the 19 accused are charged with the crime of smuggling people into a criminal organization for financial gain, and providing assistance to several persons.
According to the indictment, the 19 men and women were members of a cross-border criminal organization – mid-level organizers and low-level executors – who, under the direction of the group’s leader on the Serbian side, committed crimes in Hungary.
As we have reported
, Hungarian border police have stopped 4,200 migrants who attempted to illegally enter the country since January 1- 1,000 more than during the first two weeks of last year, György Bakondi, the Prime Minister’s chief security advisor said
. Most of them are helped by people smugglers, but there have been instances when the migrants made attempts in groups of 40 or 50 on their own, Bakondi told public news television M1
The task of the organizers was to recruit the transporters and their guards who would transport people smuggled illegally across the border, mainly to Austria, by the members of the group on the Serbian side. They also obtained vehicles, work phones, and single-use SIM cards, and planned the transport on lower-quality roads instead of the motorways, which are heavily patrolled by the police, to avoid being caught.
The members of the organization divided the thousands of euros deposited by the illegal migrants to the criminal organization among themselves in the event of successful deliveries, the group’s lead prosecutor said.
In February, twenty-six illegal migrants were also apprehended after the van carrying them overturned near the town of Kiskunlacháza. The driver, a 36-year-old Serbian citizen, was arrested a few hours later at nearby Délegyháza. After being interrogated, they were escorted back to the fence on Hungary’s southern border.
Featured image: illustration via Tibor Rosta/MTI