Woman found guilty in historic human smuggling case

Prosecutors call for an eight-year sentence followed by deportation for the 43-year-old who helped smuggle 493 people into Denmark

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February 5th, 2013 11:30 am| by admin
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A 43-year-old woman has been found guilty in the largest human smuggling case in Denmark's history.  

The woman, who is originally from the Philippines, admitted to helping people from her home country gain illegal access to Denmark by distributing false travel visas. The court believes that 300 of the 493 illegal immigrants have moved on into other EU countries, namely France and Italy, after arriving in Denmark.

The 43-year-old, a mother of three who lives in Thisted, claimed she was not aware of any wrongdoing until her arrest.

“I just wanted to make it easier for people to come visit their families,” she told the court. “I had no idea what I was doing was illegal.”

The woman, who has only been identified as IPB, worked at a travel agency which is now registered as bankrupt. It has been revealed that false documentation was given to clients from the company’s office in the Philippines for a price of 70,000 kroner. That package included flight tickets, a travel visa, temporary accommodation, pocket money and a phone card. However, the flight tickets and travel visa could also be bought on their own for a lower price.

IPB was originally charged with 1,049 human smuggling cases, but that number was dramatically reduced during the trial. Prosecutors in the case are seeking an eight-year sentence to be followed by deportation, but the final sentencing isn't expected to be announced until later this week. 

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