A Slovenian police car during joint patrols at the border with Italy | Photo: ANSA/Cristiana Missori
A Slovenian police car during joint patrols at the border with Italy | Photo: ANSA/Cristiana Missori

Two Italian citizens have been sentenced to more than two years in prison on migrant trafficking charges. Police had found six migrants hidden in their car at the border between Croatia and Slovenia in September.

A district court in Ljubljana, Slovenia, sentenced two Italians to two years and nine months and two years and one month in prison, respectively, according to local newspapers.

They were also sentenced to pay a fine of 2,000 euros each. They will face a four-year-long expulsion from Slovenia after they serve their time.

Six migrants smuggled from Bosnia

The two men from Naples, aged 23 and 29, were arrested by Slovenian police on September 12 near Ivančna Gorica, along the border between Croatia and Slovenia, after officers found six migrants -- five people from Bangladesh and one Pakistani man -- hidden in the car.

The 23-year-old driver reportedly initially tried to drive around a police checkpoint at a highway exit but crashed into a car while trying to escape from a police car chasing them.

Each migrant paid 4,000 euros

Investigators believe the two men are part of a smuggling network that moves people from Bosnia to Italy. They believe that the car trip during which the men were arrested was organized by a Pakistani citizen, who was allegedly paid €4,000 by each migrant for the trip from Velika Kladuša, a Bosnian town at the border with Croatia, to Italy.

During the trial, both defendants lawyer's argued that their clients were the lowest ranking members the smuggling ring. According to local newspaper Dnevnik, the two men received the lowest prison sentences possible for their charges.

 

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