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Greek Tourists Charged with Illegal Human Smuggling in Austria

According to APA news agency, 22 “fake” Greek tourists were sentenced last Tuesday to between 9 and 24 months jail time for smuggling 30 Afghans into Austria on August 29.

The judge of a court in eastern Eisenstadt found all Greek nationals guilty of illegal human trafficking, while 15 of the accused, who had spent the past 2 months in custody, were freed on parole.

According to the state prosecutor, the 22 fake tourists had been paid to travel on a tour bus from Thessaloniki to Vienna, fully aware of the human cargo. The Afghan illegal immigrants, including young children, had been hiding below the floorboards of the bus and were allowed to get out of their hiding boxes just a couple of times during the nearly 24-hour ride.

The accused Greeks are aged between 18 to 67 years old and had initially denied knowing about the smuggling attempt until an 18-year-old student admitted receiving 100 euros for the trip, which she had already made three times before in order to pay for her studies.

The defence based its argumentation on the financial needs of many of the accused.

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