A Dutch citizen of Iraqi origin was sentenced to eight years in prison by a court in Debrecen in eastern Hungary on Tuesday for attempting to smuggle 36 people from Hungary to western Europe.
In line with the non-final ruling he has been expelled from Hungary for ten years, a press officer of the court said.
The man tried to smuggle Iraqi, Syrian and Iranian citizens from Hungary to western Europe in December 2016, Ildikó Forizs said.
The court ruled that the man had travelled to Hungary for the specific purpose of transporting third-country nationals to western Europe in exchange for money, she said. He was aware of the fact that the vehicle was not intended for transporting people and that in case the door of the vehicle was opened from the inside – in case of a panic situation – the passengers could suffer serious, life-threatening injuries, she added.
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The court ruled that the man was also guilty of attempted serious bodily harm, committed as part of an organised criminal group, and his actions seriously violated Hungary’s integrity and sovereignty, she said.
The man denied the charges and said he had picked up the group of people with his vehicle thinking that they were Hungarian workers who needed a lift to the next village.