Supreme Court judge Mari Heidenborg (left), the Öresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden (right)
Supreme Court judge Mari Heidenborg (left), the Öresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden (right) Credit: Stina Stjernkvist/TT (left), Erland Vinberg / TT (right)

Most people smugglers to be fined, not jailed

2:27 min

If acting outside organised criminal networks, people who help asylum seekers across the border to Sweden will now be treated as minor offenders.

This follows two legal precedents issued by the Supreme Court on Wednesday. In one case, two men brought two asylum seekers over the Danish border to Sweden, and were sentenced by a Court of Appeal to three months in jail for people smuggling.

One of the men appealed this decision at the Supreme Court, which has now decided that his actions were a minor offence, punishable by a fine rather than jail time.

Supreme Court judge Mari Heidenborg told Radio Sweden that there were three criteria to determine minor people smuggling offences. Firstly, the smugglers must not have made any profit. Secondly, they can only have helped one or two foreign nationals into the country. And thirdly, it must have been an isolated incident.

Heidenborg added that from now on, most cases of people smuggling are likely to be deemed minor offences.

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