Eight men are currently awaiting trial in a Hungarian court after an intense investigation led to their arrests for the deaths of some 71 migrants who died in a truck last year along the side of the road.
During the height of the migrant crisis last year, one specific incident was the catalyst for hundreds of so-called “refugee helpers” to cross over from Germany and Austria to Hungary to help migrants who were marching from Budapest.
A lone truck was found by the side of a highway by Austrian police who discovered the bodies of 71 migrants who had been left there to die.
Now prosecutors in Budapest have managed to arrest and put on trial at eight men, some of them migrants themselves, who are thought to have been responsible for the casualties.
The eight men, one Afghan national and seven Bulgarians are now set to be tried for the murders of the 71 migrants who were found last August.
According to the head of Hungary’s anti-smuggling and people trafficking agency the Afghan man had been living in Budapest. The arrest of the Afghan led to the seven Bulgarians who were also involved. The driver of the truck is also among those on trial and is said to be only 25-years-old.
While the 71 dead migrants were found over a year ago, the incident has become the rallying cry for the dangers of people trafficking. Though the Balkan route that carried hundreds of thousands of migrants to Germany and elsewhere is now closed some say the people smuggling rings are as profitable as ever.
A report from Interpol suggested that people smugglers had profited in excess of five to six billion euros over the course of 2015 alone.
According to some reports the smuggling rings in the Balkans and Eastern Europe are becoming more and more infested with radical Islamists who often have links to terror groups. The Islamic state, according to one Austrian expert, is attempting to take over the people smuggling business in order to profit from it after losing much of its oil wealth in air strikes.
The arrests in this case follow on a number of other arrests of trafficking rings across Europe. One group in particular that originated in Pakistan, had set up operations in several countries where they smuggled thousands of migrants through to western Europe. the Italian police were only able to break up the ring in august after months of work and investigations.