STA, 14 October 2021 - Three Pakistani citizens were sentenced on Wednesday to prison for organising illegal transportation of foreigners across Slovenia as part of a criminal ring, and will also be expelled from the country for several years, the newspaper Dnevnik reported on Thursday. The trio had asked for international protection in Slovenia.
The prosecution held that 12 members of the ring organised and transported, or cooperated in, unlawful transportation of foreigners from the Croatian to Italian border, or from the Ljubljana Asylum Centre to Italy, in June 2019 and in June-to-October 2020. Among them were four Ljubljana taxi drivers, and three security guards from the asylum centre.
Judge Ana Klampfer Binder said when handing down the sentences at the Ljubljana District Court the Pakistanis, who had pleaded guilty, had abused asylum to commit crime.
They received sentences ranging from three years and a month to four years and four months, depending on the type of crime, the number of foreigners they helped cross the border, and the role they played in the ring.
The minimum prison sentence for such criminal acts is three years in prison and a fine. The three will thus also have to pay fines ranging from EUR 1,000 to EUR 5,000.
Dnevnik said that the three defendants have no assets, and in such cases the fine is transformed into additional days in prison.
As for the other members of the ring, Dnevnik said that several had also pleaded guilty.
The Prosecutor's Office told the STA that two sentences had been handed down in recent weeks, with one security guard receiving a year in prison and a EUR 700 fine.
The security guard, who will serve the sentence by doing 730 hours of community work, had left the door of the secured section of the asylum centre unlocked in order to obtain personal gain.
He had thus enabled five foreigners to leave before they would be fingerprinted and entered into the Eurodac, the EU's asylum fingerprint database, so that they could proceed towards their target EU country.
Four suspects refused to plead guilty at a pre-trial hearing and will go to trial, and one suspect has not been served the indictment yet because his whereabouts are unknown.
Prison sentences for smuggling foreigners for gain or acting within a ring increased in 2020 under the new legislation - from 1-8 years to 3-15 years.