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Jun 14, 2018

25 years of jail for people traffickers in the case of 71 dead migrants found suffocated in a refrigerator lorry

The suspects are 11 men of Afghan, Bulgarian and Lebanese nationality. While the Hungarian court gave 25 year sentences to four of the suspects, the other seven received varying verdicts.

A Hungarian court sentenced four people traffickers to 25 years in jail in the case of 71 dead migrants found suffocated in a refrigerator lorry on an Austrian highway.

State prosecutor Gabor Schmidt has asked for strong sentencing for a case that shook the world.

The suspects are 11 men of Afghan, Bulgarian and Lebanese nationality. Prosecutors were seeking life sentences in the case of four suspects and fixed-term imprisonment and expulsion from Hungary in the case of seven involved in the smuggling operation. 

Migrants from Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq were among the victims found in the lorry with Hungarian number plates abandoned on the hard-shoulder of the A4 highway near Parndorf, Austria, on August 27, 2015.

The Afghan leader of the smuggling ring earned at least 300,000 euros through this activity, according to the prosecution statement. The lorry, which set off from Kecskemét, was driven by a 25-year-old Bulgarian accompanied by a 38-year-old compatriot, it added.

The public prosecutor of Bács-Kiskun county said that altogether 1,200 people were transported illegally to western Europe between February 2015 and August of the same year on 31 occasions in sealed and crowded lorry compartments.