Suspended sentence for police officer for migrant smuggling

Suspended sentence for police officer for migrant smuggling

A three-member Criminal Appeal Court of Thessaloniki convicted on Tuesday a police officer to seven years and eight months in prison for his involvement in the illegal smuggling of migrants through Thessaloniki’s international airport.

The court suspended the sentence ahead of the appeal trial provided he pays 5,000 euros, allowing the 47-year-old policeman to walk free. He is also banned from leaving the country. The defendant had remained behind bars since last June when he was arrested by the Internal Affairs Directorate of Northern Greece.

A second police officer who had been accused in the same case was acquitted.

The 47-year-old, who was a supervising shift officer at Makedonia airport, was arrested when two siblings from Syria, one of whom was 12 years old, attempted to pass through the boarding gate using forged passports that presented them as Estonian citizens.

The indictment had charged him with nine counts of trafficking (for money), some of which he was ultimately found guilty of.

During the trial the accused accepted some of the actions he was accused of. “I did not gain anything from the case,” he said, adding that his co-defendant had no involvement in the scheme. 

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