Tue | Feb 20, 2018

Punishment sought for those who aid illegal migration

Published:Thursday | January 18, 2018 | 12:08 AM

BUDAPEST (AP):

A new set of laws might tax and possibly sanction Hungarian groups assisting illegal migration which receive foreign funding, Hungary's government said yesterday.

Such groups would have to register with the courts, and if they get more than half of their funds from foreign sources, pay a 25 per cent tax on the funds received from abroad, Interior Minister Sandor Pinter said. Groups failing to register, and which authorities consider to be adding illegal migrants, could be fined.

Pinter, without mentioning anyone by name, gave an example of someone providing a smartphone containing maps and other information "showing the way to Europe" to a migrant in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, and part of the "Balkan route" migrants use to try to reach Germany and other destinations in Western Europe.

Also, restraining orders could be issued against Hungarian citizens considered to be "organising illegal migration," preventing them from going within eight kilometres (five miles) of Hungary's Schengen borders, those with countries outside the European Union, like Serbia and Ukraine. Foreigners found to be aiding illegal migrants could be banned from Hungary, Pinter said.