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More being charged for people smuggling

Published fredag 9 december 2016 kl 09.32
More than half discovered in Malmö
(1:06 min)
Border police on the Öresund bridge.
Many of the cases are a result of border checks on the Öresund Bridge. Credit: Erland Vinberg/TT

The number of people facing prosecution for people smuggling has been increasing, with more border controls leading to more discoveries.

While the amount of refugees travelling to Sweden has declined since last year’s record high, the number of people charged for people smuggling so far this year up to October was more than 200.

In 2015, there were 258 people charged for smuggling people into the country illegally. That was double the amount in 2014.

Over half of the suspected cases are in Malmö. It is common that the discoveries of those being trafficked have been uncovered by border police on the Öresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden, where there has been a presence since the government beefed up border controls to try to reduce the number of people seeking asylum.

Johan Larsson, who is one of three prosecutors in Malmö working with human trafficking cases, said they often suspect those found have paid to be smuggled into Sweden, but it is hard to prove.

It is not uncommon for those who are trying to get into Sweden to already have relatives in the country. It is still a punishable offence to help a family member but in some cases it can result in lesser penalties, such as fines.

“Under certain conditions it could be a question of being a misdemeanour if it’s close relatives who collect family members,” Larsson said.

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