Sentences of up to eight years' imprisonment were requested on Friday in Lille against 21 people suspected of having participated in a vast network of smugglers who organized the illegal transport of migrants by truck between France and the United States. England between 2016 and 2019. A total of 24 people are to be tried, but three of them will be judged later.
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The investigation began with the arrest in August 2018 of a Romanian heavy truck driver in the port of Calais after the discovery of three Kurdish migrants hidden in the cockpit, in the chests under the berth.
Eight years in prison required
The use of the telephone lines had made it possible to trace back to several Romanian nationals and British numbers located in the vicinity of Grande-Synthe (North), and to the alleged sponsors of the network: Silviu-Ciprian B. domiciled in Romania - who will be tried in November - and Hojjat N. domiciled in Great Britain who has been appearing since Monday before the specialized interregional jurisdiction of Lille.
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The prosecutor Candice Diallo demanded against the latter, eight years in prison, 100,000 euros fine and the definitive ban from French territory for "
aid to entry and stay in an organized group
" and "
money laundering. 'organized gang money
For the prosecutor, who described a person "
" having acted "
purely for profit
", Hojjat N. participated "
in the smuggling of migrants while ignoring the unworthy conditions in which these people were transported
Twenty defendants subject to fines
Sentences of two to eight years' imprisonment and fines of 10,000 to 100,000 euros were required against 20 defendants - suspected network organizers, transport company managers, drivers or even couriers.
Four years in prison and a fine of 20,000 euros were also required against the wife of Silviu-Ciprian B., in particular for having concealed large sums in cash.