Latvian citizen gets prison sentence for migrant smuggling

A Latvian citizen has been sentenced to more than four years in prison for illegally transferring persons across the State border, according to the State Border Guard's statement on February 6.

On October 2 last year, officials of the State Police in the RopaŽi Parish of Līvāni municipality stopped a van “Opel Vivaro”, which was driven by a citizen of Latvia. Police officers found that 10 Syrian citizens without travel documents, valid visas, or residence permits, who had crossed the Latvian-Belarusian state border illegally, were in the van's cabin.

The driver has been sentenced to a real term of imprisonment of four years and two months with probation supervision for two years for illegally transferring a large number, that is, in one case more than five persons across the state border in an organized group.

A mobile phone has been seized from the person and the value of the vehicle has been recovered – EUR 15,700.

The State Border Guard indicated that amendments to the Criminal Law came into force in October 2023, which provide for harsher penalties for the illegal movement of persons across the State border and the organisation and performance of other criminal activities related to illegal migration to the Republic of Latvia. 

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