A Bulgarian national who allegedly recruited drivers for human smugglers in Bulgaria and worked as a “scout” escorting vehicles that transported migrants has been placed into custody, the Bács-Kiskun County public prosecutor said on Thursday.
Bulgarian authorities arrested the 39 year-old man under an international arrest warrant and handed him over to the Hungarian authorities on Tuesday, a statement by county chief prosecutor László Nánási said. The Kecskemét district prosecutor’s office ordered his arrest in connection with suspected human smuggling committed as part of a criminal gang.
The man was allegedly commissioned in the summer of 2015 by the a gang that was responsible for the deaths of 71 migrants near Parndorf in Austria. He recruited at least six people and escorted vehicles as a “scout”, according to the charges, though he was not involved in the operation that ended with the death of the 71 migrants.
The prosecutor’s office said there was a danger that he would flee or hide from justice and that he may continue human smuggling activities.
The court’s ruling is not final and the Bulgarian man and his lawyer have appealed.
As we wrote on June, Kecskemét court sentenced four smugglers involved in the deaths of 71 migrants who suffocated in a refrigerated lorry which passed through Hungary and was discovered in Austria in 2015 to 25 years’ imprisonment. Read more HERE.