NEWS

Smuggler gets 14-yr sentence

A Swedish national has been handed a 14-year jail sentence by a court in northern Greece for human trafficking after being caught smuggling 13 illegal immigrants into the country, it was revealed yesterday. A court in Xanthi ruled that the 44-year-old Swedish man, of Iraqi origin, was guilty of smuggling into Greece last week 13 immigrants from Iraq and Iran. Police said he was part of a group of smugglers found transporting the illegal immigrants in the back of a truck on a national highway near Xanthi. The court also handed him a 75,000-euro fine, sources added. According to recent data provided by the Merchant Marine Ministry, 9,240 illegal immigrants were arrested during the whole of 2007, along with an additional 196 suspects accused of human trafficking. Port authorities also confiscated 161 vessels in 652 separate incidents of human trafficking recorded for the year.