Greece jails Palestinian over lucrative migrant smuggling ring

A Palestinian who ran a multi-million dollar smuggling ring was sent to prison by a Greek court. 

By: AP

A Greek court in the northern city of Thessaloniki has convicted a Palestinian of running a major migrant-smuggling ring and sentenced him to 13 years in prison.

Judges ruled Tuesday that 29-year-old Jamal Owda was active during the height of Europe’s immigration crisis, from July 2014 to December 2015 — when he was arrested in Britain following a Greek request.

Migrants allegedly paid the ring 1,500 euros ($1,900) each to be taken from Greece to Serbia by road, at a time before Balkan countries closed their borders to check migratory flows.

The traffickers’ annual revenues exceeded 10 million euros ($12 million).

Owda, who denied the charges, was extradited to Greece last year after British authorities rejected his asylum application.

Another 22 people have earlier been convicted of belonging to the group.