A court in Thessaloniki has sentenced 23 people to prison terms ranging from eight and up to 1,489 years for migrant smuggling. They were arrested for smuggling Iraqi and Syrian nationals into Greece from the Turkish border in 2015 through to 2016.
The Thessaloniki court imposed the longest sentence on a 54-year-old Greek man convicted of running a smuggling ring that arranged the transport of more than 500 refugees in 43 separate cases. Under Greek law, the maximum prison term that can be served is 25 years, regardless of the length of the sentence.
Another 23 people, including taxi drivers, were acquitted after suspects were initially caught in a July 2016 police operation.