Court convicts 15 for migrant smuggling

Court convicts 15 for migrant smuggling

A Greek court has sentenced 15 people to terms ranging from three to 17 years in prison in connection with one of the largest migrant smuggling gangs in northern Greece.

According to the case file, the gang had been active at least since July 2014, transporting migrants and refugees from the Vardari area of Thessaloniki to the Greek border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), from where they would head to Serbia and then Western Europe.

The smugglers received a total fee of 1,500 euros.

The route through FYROM and Serbia was dubbed the “route of Jamal the Palestinian”  after one of the gang’s leaders who is being held in England, where he was arrested in 2014 as he entered the country hiding in a truck.

His lawyers are currently fighting a Greek request for his extradition. The unraveling of the gang began in 2014 with the arrest of a man in Austria for smuggling 14 people.

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