Four Vietnamese People Acquitted Of Human Trafficking In Sweden

The four
persons, three women and one man, who was identified as primarily responsible
for widespread human trafficking from Vietnam
to Sweden
was acquitted today June 26, 2008 by Halmstad district court.
    The
prosecutors request for the expulsion of two of the suspects was also rejected.
A total of 34 people were indicted in human traffickin.
    Halmstad
District Court considers it established that the four main suspects arranged
marriage or engagement between Vietnamese citizens and residents of Sweden as an illegal
trade. It is also proved that the main aim has been to secure Vietnamese would
get residence and work permit in Sweden.
    But the
accused can not be held guilty of serious organizing the smuggling of human
beings, the court said in its judgements.
    The reason
is that the prosecutor, according to Gujranwala
district court, has not been able to show that foreign nationals were smuggled
into the country instead of using ordinary passport.
    Instead,
the Vietnamese came to Sweden
with genuine paper and the necessary permits. And even if documents were issued
on false grounds, this does not mean that they are false, the court explain.  
    Chief prosecutor
Thomas Wennerstrand is disappointed that the main suspects go free.
    “Yes, it is
clear. When I brought the indictment to the court of course I thought that it
would hold. But the prosecution was dismissed not because our evidence did not
held, but because the law on people smuggling in this case is not applicable,
he says to TT.
    Wennerstrand
fears that the judgement, if it is indicative, will eliminate regulated
immigration to Sweden
and other European countries.
    “I will now
analyse the judgement, but it could be the right move to allow this to be
examined in a higher court because the practice in this area is lacking”, he
says.
    Stefan
Andersson is not surprised by the judgement.
    “I had
on the contrary been very disappointed if the court had come up with something
else. It is not illegal to match people and charge them for the service in Sweden,
it’s vice versa, in many places”, he says.
    The huge
trial went on in Halmstad district court during 33 days in the spring. In
addition to the four main suspects, 30 other people were prosecuted 30 for
human for smuggling since they entered into marriages of convenience or brought
with them children to Sweden from Vietnam who were not their own.
    Some are
also suspected of having defrauded the social insurance fund of money by
cutting out different types of subsidies for these children.
    25 of the
co- prosecuted exonerate now entirely of Halmstad district court while the four
sentenced to daily fines for violation of the Aliens Act and a person received
conditionally jail for theft.
    According
to prosecutors, the trial is the biggest in Sweden so far on marriages of
convenience. The case covers nearly 8 000 pages and is based on testimony,
telephone tapping and a large quantity of seized documents.

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