Swedish Journo Arrested For People Smuggling

Fredrik Önnevall
Wikimedia Commons

A journalist who works for the Swedish state broadcaster may have helped smuggle a Syrian migrant across the border from Greece.

Fredrik Önnevall who works as a TV reporter for Sweden’s SVT channel, stands accused of helping to smuggle a 15-year-old Syrian boy across the Swedish border. A pair of witnesses claim that the journalist met the boy while on assignment in Greece and subsequently felt he had to smuggle him to Sweden according to TheLocal.se.

“A boy just asked us to save him from the situation he was in. He was trying to smuggle himself out of Greece by jumping onto a moving truck,” Önnevall said on a Swedish TV show last year. While not admitting to giving the boy direct aid, he implied that he had helped him in some way.

After being arrested by Swedish police he came clean about what he had done saying: “I know what we did and I would have had done the same today. How can you regret helping a terrified boy pleading for my help?”

He told another reporter at the same network the same thing, and when asked if he feared prosecution for people smuggling, he added: “I’m not worried because I do not feel that we have committed any crime.”

Önnevall is said to have returned with the boy after covering the story of migrants in Greece, purchasing him a train ticket. The SVT crew who had filmed the story were also present though there is no word of whether they are to be held complicit to the crime.

The young Syrian boy was given residency upon arrival and currently goes to school in an unnamed Swedish city.

Prosecutor in the case Johan Larsson is responsible for the preliminary investigation and said that Önnevall would be receiving legal counsel from a public defence lawyer. “In the ongoing preliminary investigation there are a number of investigative steps, including the questioning. In view of the type of crime and investigation, the suspect must have a public defender,” he told the media.

The assigned defence lawyer Bjorn Cinthio is optimistic about the case, saying: “My principle position is that there is no crime in this case. We do not anticipate this legal process will continue.”  implying that he believes the charges should be dropped.

Cases of smuggling have gone through the roof in many European countries. Austria has just released figures that claim a gigantic 84.9 per cent increase in people smuggling, and the European police agency Europol estimates that the profits involved with smuggling may double or even triple in 2016.

The journalist is not the only Western European who has helped try to smuggle migrants either. Breitbart was able to talk exclusively with a woman who was tricked by No Borders activists in Calais to smuggle a migrant across the UK border. She told Breitbart about her experience and how she was told that the migrant was a Syrian pregnant woman, when in fact it turned out she was from Tunisia and merely wanted to join up with her boyfriend who had already successfully crossed into the UK illegally.

Other smugglers have been far more aware of their acts, like the infamous No Borders activists who travelled en masse across the Austrian-Hungarian border last year to pick up migrants in their cars and drive them to Germany. Austrian prions are currently overcrowded with people smugglers.


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