A pastor in Austria has been sentenced to two years of probation for smuggling migrants in his car across the border into Germany at the height of the migrant crisis.
Pastor Karl Burgstaller is the latest European to be convicted of people smuggling. Pastor Burgstaller is said to have helped several migrants cross international borders in his car in clear violation of human trafficking laws.The court let the pastor off with a slap on the wrist as he was sentenced to a two year conditional probation,
The court let the pastor off with a slap on the wrist as he was sentenced to a two year conditional probation, reports Austrian paper Nachtrichten.
According to Burgstaller, his motivation for violating the law was to help migrants reach Germany and had no intention of violating the laws that govern human trafficking. Like many others who believed in the “refugees welcome” mantra last year, the pastor saw several Syrians walking by the side of the road near the Austrian town of Engelhartszell in Upper Austria and picked them up in his car.
The Syrians, three men and a woman, were packed into the car of the pastor and headed for Germany. When he wasn’t checked at the border, as strict border controls were not yet implemented, Burgstaller pressed on to Marienbrücke, home of the famous Neuschwanstein castle. At Marienbrücke the car was stopped by a routine police inspection and the migrants were taken from the car and Burgstaller arrested.
After being held for a night the police released the pastor who claimed that they had treated him very well. Police commander Martin Pumberger told media that while not everyone who takes migrants across the border is guilty of people smuggling, anyone who does so either to help migrants or purely for money will face potential prosecution.
During the start of the migrant crisis last year many left-wing activists took it upon themselves to help drive migrants to Germany, often from Hungary. The “refugees welcome” activists were spurred on by an incident in which close to 50 migrants died trying to cross through Hungary in a refrigerated truck.
Earlier this week Breitbart London reported on another case of human trafficking in which a German left-wing politician was caught after smuggling a migrant to Germany from Italy. Much like Pastor Burgstaller, left wing politician Diether Dehm believed he was helping the migrant he smuggled in, in order that he should have a better life, though he stated he was well aware of the illegality of his actions.
Human trafficking of migrants has also been linked to the finances of Islamic State. According to the head of anti-human trafficking in Austria, Gerald Tatzgern, Islamic State pockets some $300 million a year from its people smuggling operations and he claims is doing everything it can, including raids on refugee camps, to encourage the migrant crisis to continue.