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Wednesday 20.09.2017 | Name days: Marianna, Ginters, Guntra
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Saeima committee conceptually supports stricter punishments for illegal carrying of immigrants to Latvia

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUIndividuals or groups of individuals who illegally carry immigrants over the Latvian border will face stricter punishments in the future. This is provided by amendments conceptually supported by Saeima Legal Affairs Committee this week.

«The draft proposed by deputies is topical considering the growing number of refugees that illegally cross Latvia’s eastern border. Latvian Border Guard reports that this area has become a growing platform for criminal activities. These proposals are a signal that we take this problem seriously and are prepared to take action,» – said Gaidis Berzins, Chairman of Saeima Legal Affairs Committee.

Proposed amendments provide for increased sanctions against individuals or groups of people who illegally carry more than one person across the state border, as reported by Saeima press-service.

In the section of the law regarding illegal carrying of people across the state border, it is planned to refuse the use of community service and fine as an alternative to imprisonment. Discussions are necessary for this regulation because of two reasons, says the committee’s chairman. First of all, such sanctions would provide imprisonment in cases unrelated to carrying refugees over borders, such as when a person helps a relative cross the border. Secondly, the proposed redaction of the law states that minors would not be punished for helping illegal refugees cross the border.

As noted by authors of the legislative project, certain criminal groups carry out the process of helping illegal refugees cross the state border in a way that only allows mild penalties to be applied to them in the event of apprehension by authorities. Currently the law provides two years in prison, fine or community service for carrying illegal refugees across the state border. Court practice shows that usually the applied penalties are unreasonably small, as mentioned in the annotation for the legislative draft.

Ref: 102.109.109.2352


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