Migration

Another Czech driver detained in France because of migrants

Another Czech truck driver found himself in French custody on suspicion of smuggling. Now he is free, but he will be investigated by authorities. The police patrol discovered a stowaway in his car. Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (ČSSD) and MEP Tomáš Zdechovský (KDU-ČSL) intervened in the case.

“Last time I stopped was in Belgium last Friday, where I noticed a loose sail on the truck, so I opened the truck and checked everything inside. I did not see anybody, the goods were undamaged, so I closed the truck again and continued to Calais, where the second random check discovered the refugee,” said the driver from Cheb Matouš K., whom the French officials took into custody immediately.

This is the second case of a Czech driver who has been associated with smuggling in France. The first one, Jiří Sagan, was convicted last year, the authorities found a group of Iraqis in his truck. Sagan, however, denies any guilt.

It was MEP Zdechovský who informed the chief of diplomacy Petříček about the new case of the driver from Cheb.

On Monday morning, Zdechovský was informed about the case by the driver's boss, who did not hear from the driver following his detention. “MEP Zdechovský immediately called Calais and contacted Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček, with whom he is already working on the case of Jiří Sagan, who, unfortunately, is still sitting in a French prison for alleged smuggling. Thus, the Czech diplomacy was involved in solving the issue,” said Jitka Fialová, Zdechovský´s spokeswoman.

The driver will go to court in three months time. "Mr. K. has now been released and was able to take the cargo to Britain. I spoke to the French police who does not consider him a smuggler. Therefore, we expect only a fine and a ban on entering France to come. We have provided the driver with tips for advocacy, we will recommend a lawyer, and try to mitigate a possible sanction as much as possible,” said Tomáš Zdechovský, marking the development as positive compared to Sagan´s case. Zdechovský hopes that from now on, the French police will not confuse Czechia with Chechnya anymore.

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