Danish taxi driver arrested for human trafficking in Sweden

Driver stopped at the Øresund Bridge, accused of carrying asylum-seeker without ID

A Danish taxi driver was arrested over the weekend on the Swedish side of the Øresund Bridge for having a passenger in his car without ID.

“Both the taxi driver and his passenger were taken to the station for questioning,” Swedish police spokesman Maya Forstenius told DR Nyheder.

The arrest of the 35-year-old taxi driver took place in Malmø.

“Police stopped the taxi on the Swedish side carrying a driver and a passenger, who said he was an asylum-seeker,” said Forstenius.

The asylum-seeker is an adult male, possibly from Iraq.

Forstenius said that helping someone to illegally come to Sweden may be punishable under the law on foreigners. The driver can be charged with human trafficking.

Drivers warned
Since the arrest, the Danish taxi council Dansk Taxi Råd has warned its drivers to say no if they are unsure whether a customer is a refugee.

“We simply cannot say enough times to drivers how important it is that they ensure that those they are carrying have their papers in order,” the head of the taxi council Trine Wollenberg told DR Nyheder.

READ MORE: Sweden extending border controls until February 8

“If the person has no papers, or if you are in doubt as to whether he is a refugee, it is okay to say no,” said Wollenberg. “It is not about discrimination. The situation is so stringent, one must be very careful when transporting people.”

Not intentional
Wollenberg said that she was sure that the taxi driver arrested did not intend to engage in human smuggling.

“He was not trying to do something illegal, he was just doing his job,” she said.