Hungarian officials have sentenced two Bosnian nationals who tried to smuggle migrants to Austria illegally.
According to MTI, the Bosnian nationals, who were both aged 21, were stopped by the Hungarian police on the road between Székesfehérvár and Várpalota on October 5.
Through a non-binding decision, the regional court of Veszprém decided to sentence the two smugglers to two and a half years in prison. In addition, they also decided to expel the lawbreakers from the country for five years.
The now sentenced Bosnians were trying to smuggle 17 Afghani nationals, one Iranian, and one Pakistani national to Austria by using a van, without any safety measures in case of emergencies SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
It has been reported that before the event, the migrants were staying in a refugee camp located in Sombor, Serbia. However, since they aimed to reach Austria, they entered Hungary illegally and intended to use its territory to reach their final destination.
The authorities have not disclosed any information regarding the amount that migrants were asked to pay in order to be smuggled to their final destination.
Previously, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported that the Hungarian authorities had stopped more than 54,000 people from crossing the border illegally since the beginning of 2021 and have sentenced more than 500 smugglers.
According to the Hungarian Chief Security Advisor, György Bakondi, these numbers have marked a significant increase compared to the same period in 2020. During last year, the police officials in Hungary caught a total of 17,000 illegal migrants. In addition, during the same year, the authorities sentenced around 200 people smugglers.
Apart from Hungary that is having increased numbers of illegal border crossings, Germany and Romania are also facing a surge of illegal people smuggling activities. With the support of Eurojust and Europol, the Romanian and German police dismantled an organised criminal network involved in migrant smuggling on October 5.
During this action, the police searched 19 locations as well as identified and arrested 27 suspects. Of them, 16 were Afghan, four Romanian nationals, and one Iranian. Additionally, the police confiscated 83 mobile phones, a large amount of cash, several other electronic devices, and ten morphine vials during the same action.
The suspects had previously smuggled more than 200 migrants to Romania and to other countries such as Germany and France. To receive such services, migrants were paying between €1,000 and €2,000 to be carried in the back of lorries without any safety measures.