Court convicts man who smuggled foreign national through Estonia

Tallinn port.
Tallinn port. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Harju County Court has ordered the deportation of an Iraqi citizen who tried to smuggle a fellow countryman who had entered the Schengen area illegally, to Finland, via Estonia.

On Tuesday, Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) officers checked people heading to Finland at the port of Tallinn, and conducted a routine check on a car with a Finnish registration number which was being driven by an Iraqi citizen born in 1986. The suspect had a valid Finnish residence permit, the PPA says.

While inspecting the vehicle, a police officer discovered a man hiding in the trunk. Both men were detained and the PPA was able to ascertain that the other man an Iraqi citizen born in 1998, who had no legal basis to stay in Estonia.

Criminal proceedings were initiated against the driver, in connection with the illegal transportation of a foreigner across the state border of Estonia (§259 of the Penal Code). The prosecutor's office has sent the criminal case to the court via expedited procedures.

The next day, Wednesday, the court sentenced the man to nearly eight months' probation with a probationary period of three years, and an additional sentence of deportation with a three-year re-entry ban. In addition, the man must pay a fine of €438.

The prosecutor's office also asked the court to confiscate the car as constituting the means of committing a crime, but the court opted to return it to him.

According to preliminary data, the convicted had picked up the Iraqi citizen born in 1998 in his own car in Latvia, where he had arrived illegally from Belarus

Ülav Kalf, Head of the Border and Migration Surveillance Service of the Northern Prefecture, said that the police have been operating with additional forces in the internal border ports and on the Estonian-Latvian border for almost a month now.

Since mid-August, a total of 48,000 people and 24,000 vehicles have been checked at border crossings. In the Port of Tallinn, which is one of the most frequent border crossing points in Estonia, the police check almost 85 percent of all passengers on a daily basis.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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