Belgium: Iranian people smuggler ring sentenced

The court in Kortrijk sentenced five Iranian people smugglers to prison sentences ranging from six months to six years. They were found guilty of organizing or assisting international people trade of Iranians to Great Britain via Belgium, and got a fine of 550 to 5,500 euro each. They were also deprived of their rights for five years. The judge ordered the immediately arrest of five of the accused.

Four victims of the people smuggling got restitution of 2,000 euro, as well as getting back the money they had paid to the smugglers, 4,000 to 5,000 euro.

According to the public prosecution, Mousa Azad Kaleh Naderagh (31) from Roeselare, Davoud Nikpay (35) from Woluwe and Davoud Ghorbani were in charge of the organization. The trio got 4-6 years in prison.

According to the public prosecution, Iranian citizens were transported to Turkey as merchandise, where they had to wait in abominable conditions, sometimes for two months, before they were brought to an apartment in Athens. The victims were threatened and had to pay a lot of money in order to finally get to Belgium.

Counterfeit stolen Polish, Italian and Swedish passports were brought from Brussels. Through airports in German Weeze and Düsseldorf, Hungary and Romania, the victims were in the end brought to Great Britain. The public prosecution based their summons on the results of a telephone investigation, bank investigation, analysis of passenger lists of airports, observations and house searches. Two of the accused were acquitted.

Source: HLN (Dutch)

See also: Belgium: illegal smuggling case

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