In the latest accident, this is what was left of the car driven by a smuggler transporting eight migrants. The driver died at the scene and the passengers were seriously injured.
Extensive criminal organizations have been set up to transport illegal migrants, and the only thing that matters is that they get the thousands of euros they are owed for their passengers, revealed public television M1 News in their report on the worsening migration situation in Hungary. It seems that safety does not matter either to the drivers, with more and more road accidents happening involving smugglers transporting migrants.
M1’s crew visited Sombor in Vojvodina, Serbia, where there are currently around 300 people in a migrant reception center, but locals say many are hiding in abandoned houses and forests around the city. One resident reported that they are not sleeping peacefully and that there have been incidents of migrants stealing or assaulting women.
The migrants on the Serbian side of the Hungarian-Serbian border are now waiting for members of the smuggling networks to come pick them up with their vehicles and help them make their way to Western Europe.
However, even though smugglers are being paid substantial sums of money, success is not guaranteed. In the hope of making big money, smugglers are willing to defy the police and do not stop at official signals.
In 2022, there were several accidents in which the driver did not stop despite a police warning because they were transporting migrants. However, chases regularly end in accidents or being caught.
In the most recent case, for example, a car carrying eight migrants drifted off the road on Monday in Jászszentlászló in southern Hungary, after fleeing police at high speed.
The driver died at the scene and several of the passengers were seriously injured. Furthermore, last week on the M5 motorway, another smuggler refused to stop for police and ended up crashing into a tree, killing one passenger.
Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet reports that human life does not matter to the criminals who smuggle migrants, and they will do anything to get their money. The paper also pointed out that some human smuggling bosses only pay the carrier by bank transfer if the carrier can credibly prove that the migrants being transported have reached their destination.
Traffickers are also gaining ground thanks in part to the virtual expropriation of some areas. According to the report by M1, migrants in Sombor complain that the Afghan mafia dominates the Serbian-Hungarian border, and that they are charging migrants up to €2,000 to €3,000 to cross the border.
In the meantime, illegal migration is not abating, with some 270,000 attempts to cross the border prevented by police at Hungary’s southern border in 2022.
Bence Rétvári, Parliamentary Secretary of State at the Ministry of Interior, also pointed out that migrants are becoming increasingly aggressive; for example, last year there were 485 cases of migrants behaving aggressively against border guards or border protection equipment. In addition, they are increasingly carrying weapons, which they often use against each other.
Featured photo via MTI/Donka Ferenc