Finland convicts 4 Latvians for human smuggling

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
January 21, 2011 15:32

 
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HELSINKI — A Finnish court on Friday convicted four Latvians of smuggling people into Finland through the Baltic states and Russia, in the Nordic country's largest human trafficking case to date.

The Helsinki District Court said the accused smuggled or attempted to smuggle 80 people from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria into Finland in 2008 and 2009, in an operation linked to an international smuggling ring in Europe.

The court handed down prison terms ranging from 14 months to 5.5 years for the foursome — three women and one man. They were also ordered to pay fines and damages amounting to some $135,000 (€100,000).

Prosecutors said the victims each paid about $10,000 in advance to be smuggled into Europe.

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