Hungary: Migrant smuggler stands trial for transporting 35 illegal migrants and engaging in high-speed chase with police

Georgian people smuggler caught in Budapest. (Miklós Teknős/Magyar Nemzet)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

The Budapest I and XII District Prosecutor’s Offices have filed charges against a Georgian man who tried to smuggle 35 people out of Hungary and then went on a dangerous car chase, which ended in a car crash in Budapest. The prosecutor’s office has proposed a prison sentence and deportation proceedings against him, according to the Budapest Chief Prosecutor’s Office.

In December 2023, the human smuggler had agreed to transport several illegal immigrants from Hungary in his client’s van for money. The vehicle, whose unventilated cargo hold was not suitable for safe travel, was hired by an unknown person in Warsaw.

Hungarian police posted a video of the high-speed police chase on Youtube.

The accused received instructions via a messaging application, according to which he drove the minibus to the Domaszek area near the Hungarian-Serbian state border on Dec. 27, 2022. There, 35 people, 20 Syrian and 15 Moroccan citizens, boarded the van; they had all previously crossed the border with the help of ladders provided by other smugglers.

The Georgian man set off on the M5 motorway in the direction of Budapest to transport the people in the cargo hold to Austria, as instructed. The police started following the vehicle near the on-ramp of the motorway in Újhartyán and tried to stop it. However, the suspect refused to stop and continued at high speed along the M0 motorway, via the M1 motorway and the main road No. 1 towards Budakeszi and then Budapest.

While fleeing, the man ran several red lights and then deliberately steered the minibus into several vehicles, which were driving in traffic. The driver then went onto Attila út in the 1st district,
deliberately drove into a police car, then jumped out of the vehicle, which had broken down due to the collision, and ran away. He was then caught by the patrol officers.

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