Bulgaria Charges 3 After Deadly Migrant Crash

Domestic | June 9, 2017, Friday // 11:09|  views


Two Bulgarians and an Afghan were charged on Thursday, June 8, after 9 migrants died when a minibus crashed in southern Bulgaria at the weekend, prosecutors said, quoted by Rappler. 

The 16-year-old Bulgarian driver, who did not have a driving license and is thought to have fallen asleep at the wheel, was also killed. Nine other passengers were hurt.

The Afghan migrant and the Bulgarians charged, aged 29 and 31, are accused of human trafficking for helping the group of 18 men from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria to cross Bulgaria illegally.

One of the Bulgarians was also charged with causing the deaths through negligence, regional prosecutors in the town of Pazardzhik said in a statement.

The owner of the van, which was rented, was arrested by police earlier this week. It was however unclear if he was one of the indicted men.

Bulgarian authorities have sought assistance from the embassies of the 3 countries to identify the victims as none of the 18 men had identity documents.

All paid between 5,000-6,000 euros ($5,600-6,700) each and had wanted to get to France, police said.

European Union member Bulgaria has seen a fall in the number of illegal migrants crossing over from its southeastern neighbour Turkey.

The head of the Bulgarian border police said this week that 2,054 migrants have been intercepted so far this year, compared with 19,147 for the whole of 2016. Fifty-two traffickers were arrested.

But experts said that Sunday's accident on Bulgaria's Trakia motorway showed human trafficking was still flourishing with organisers becoming ever more sophisticated

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Tags: European Union, van, crash, migrants, Trakia motorway, illegally


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