Ukrainians carrying illegal immigrants from Turkey to southern Europe, and then find themselves in foreign prisons. Photo: GgiaUkrainians have a new niche in the informal labor market in Europe – the smuggling of illegal immigrants into the European Union. It is more profitable than harvest crops or work in construction, but face serious prison terms, sometimes cosmically unreal.
On 20 July the court of the Greek city of Piraeus was sentenced to 180 years in prison musician Ivano-Frankivsk group “Perkalaba” Sergei Shvayka and his friend, the blacksmith Petr Litvinchuk, charged with the transportation of refugees from Pakistan and human trafficking. The same time the Greek court in March this year sentenced a Ukrainian sailor Denis Brovchenko for transporting Syrians.
The sentences of other such “guest workers” make up, and 600 years in Greece in the field of strict legislation for every illegal immigrant you give from 3 to 10 years. In practice 180 years will equate to 25 years – the maximum term of imprisonment in Greek prisons.
Now in Greece, through which the EU enters the main flow of refugees, on charges of trafficking in custody 112 of our compatriots. “Traffickers” foraged most often in this country and in Italy, through which the illegal immigrants coming from Libya.
Most of the detainees say they got into this business by accident – was arranged in the normal operation of the vessel and yachts, but in the end the owners were forced to carry illegal migrants.
The number of detainees is constantly growing. For example, in April this year, the Greek Peloponnese detained three carriers-Ukrainians, who were trying to smuggle to Italy 64 migrants from the Middle East. Refugees were brought in by minibus from Athens to Kyllini port, and from there were transported in groups on yachts in the Greek coast. The local fishermen all saw it and complained to the coast guard, which arrested the whole company.
How to get on such “work” Ukrainians, what you earn and what turns them risky business, found out “Country”.
Illegal immigrants are transported for a salary of $1-1,5 thousand
That more than a hundred Ukrainians came in a Greek prison, the Ukrainian foreign Ministry reported this winter. Kiev justifies our countrymen. How wrote on his page in Facebook by the Parliament Commissioner for human rights, Lyudmila Denisova, our citizens allegedly fraudulently invited to work on the cruise liners and yachts.
“But in return, under coercion of force and threat of death forced to pass through the sea of “illegals” in Europe. That is why hundreds of Ukrainian seafarers have been detained by Greek law-enforcement bodies. The sailors promised official employment, contract work. Very quickly, just a few months, they are in the Greek prisons. And someone makes a lot of money!”, – I wrote to Denisov.
In prisons, according to the Ombudsman, the defendants do not provide adequate interpreters and they can’t provide proof of his innocence, the lawyer and learn the details of the case in which they appear.
“In addition, the court has not considered the mitigating circumstances are not taken into account the testimony of seamen, and the conditions of their detention do not conform to the standard minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners. In particular, according to relatives of seamen, they are in terrible conditions and they are denied treatment,” says Denisov.
Thus, according to her, the Council of Europe Convention exempt from punishment for transporting illegal immigrants, if such crime is committed under coercion.
Experts believe that many Ukrainians deliberately take risks for money.
“That on Board the ships on which they are arranged, the transport not tourists, and illegal immigrants, the crew was known. You can’t hide it. To abandon such work may, at any time. Typically, the salary for such vessels with illegal immigrants – 1-1,5 thousand dollars, it’s a little for the risk they are taking. Big bucks – the bosses. And the Ukrainians there in the chorus in raids they fall, because so many of them in prisons”, – said “the Country,” the captain of one of the steamers, familiar with Greek history.
Not to get into a situation where employers require to do illegal things, experts recommend to read carefully the employment contract and not to give anyone your documents.
“Special attention is needed to read the lines written in small font. In case of ignorance of the language should refer to the translator so we can understand. If caught in a difficult situation, you need to apply to the territorial labour Inspectorate at the place of execution of complaint handling,” said “Country” lawyer Tatiana Voinov.
“Boys do not deserve it.”
As told to us by relatives and lawyers of detainees, the smugglers get by the standard procedure: arrange by ads or through a friend on legitimate work – crew on a pleasure vessel in Turkey (sailors, mechanics, cooks), and then it turns out that the ships used to transport illegal immigrants.
So happened with Shaycom and Litvinchuk.
“A friend suggested them to earn three weeks to carry tourists on a yacht along the coast of Turkey for a salary of 2.5 thousand dollars – says “Country,” their comrade Oleg. – Sergei and Peter had to get a mate, but it turned out that in addition to their crew was not. Showed them how to sail the boat and at the first exit in the sea was said to supposedly take tourists from a broken yacht, and they had dozens of Pakistanis”.
Sergey Swauk, vocalist and trumpeter Ivano-Frankivsk group Perkalaba, after earnings on the Turkish yacht got 180 years in prison in Greece. Photo: Facebook Sergey Shvayka
According to the Ukrainians, on the same boat were armed Turks, who took their cellphones and threatened to hurt.
“Sergei knew nothing about illegals. The Turks gave orders to bring the boat to Italy, but the vessel was detained by coast guard near Greece. There Sergei and Peter accused under several articles of the illegal crossing of borders of the countries of the European Union, create the danger to human life due to overload of the boat, no rescue equipment, illegal transportation of migrants. In addition, they did not have documents for the boat,” says their friend.
According to international lawyer Igor Rudenko, who investigates the case Shvayka and Litvinchuk, Ukrainians given time, based on the calculation of three years for each illegal immigrant (all of them on the ship was about 60). But the sentence, according to him, will amount to 25 years.
“The boys don’t deserve this,” laments Oleg “MOX” Gnativ, producer of the band Perkalaba.
Ukrainians lawyer prepares an appeal. Lawyers say that it is possible to reduce the period of or even parole, but for this we need the help of the Ukrainian authorities. And they complain, relatives of the detainees were not functioning and limited to sympathetic statements.
One-on-one problem turned out to be the family of Yury Reshetnikova from Izmail, Odessa region, which, like dozens of other Ukrainians, was convicted of transportation of illegal immigrants – was given 25 years.
“We have appealed to various authorities in Ukraine, in our Embassy in Greece, but no answer came. Had to defend themselves and to prepare the appeal,” said his wife Oksana.
Relatives of the detained Ukrainians complain of beatings, and terrible conditions in prison.
“During the detention of her husband were kicked and injured his back, he previously had surgery on the spine”, – complains “the Country” Elena Novak, the wife of 48-year-old Vitaliy Novak from Kherson oblast, who took a job as a sailor on a yacht in Turkey and it, as well as others, were detained off the coast of Greece.
“In prison – the mud, cold, in tiny cells a person has is just “space” – adds Oksana Reshetnikova.
Bosses with every illegal immigrant take 7 thousand dollars
Greek journalist Kostas Panagopoulos, which deals with the transport of illegal immigrants, said “the Country” that this business really involves a lot of Ukrainians.
“They go for it because of unemployment in their own country, most of them sailors from the Maritime regions of Ukraine (Odessa, Kherson, Mariupol). With every illegal immigrant, for a transportation from Turkey to Italy, take about 7 thousand dollars, and they carry dozens at a time at fifty and more. This multi-million dollar business, however the personnel of the ships he gets a penny, the main profit goes into the pocket of the mafia. This whole group of several dozen people, where there are the recruiters, the transporters, financiers,” says Panagopoulos.
However, there is information that Ukrainians are found among those who protects the smuggling of illegal immigrants.
In last year’s investigation by the Sunday Times found out that our compatriots have organized transportation on the boats of migrants from Turkey to southern Europe. In the southern part of Sicily in 2017, on suspicion of smuggling illegal immigrants arrested eight Ukrainians, six in Malta and Crete.
The United Nations office on drugs and crime say that the illegal transportation of migrants reached professional level.
“In the past, for example, is mainly dominated by carriers-lovers, a little moonlighting in illegal activities, now it involved professionals, especially the transport of migrants is a highly profitable business with relatively low risk, which in turn attracts criminals”, – is spoken in the message of management. And according to the Norwegian centre for global analysis, in industry, in particular, members of terrorist organizations.
For example, ISIS earned in the illegal transportation of more than $ 300 million.
Carried their own illegal immigrants in Britain
Meanwhile, Ukrainians on trial for the transportation of illegal immigrants not only in Greece. In Britain, in February this year this article was given six years in prison a former choreographer Vladislav Kurtoglu and a three years chef Dmitry Kryuk. Their boat funny name Tazik was intercepted by the British coast guard off the East coast of England.
Kurtoglu and the Hook was called is supposedly going to return to France, but bad weather forced them to change course and sail to the coast of England. However, it was later revealed that the conditions were favorable, and the ship was heading for England. During the search the police found in the boat with six of our countrymen without visas. According to the Daily Express, Hook and Kurtoglu was to receive for the carriage of Ukrainian illegal immigrants 2 thousand euros.
It is no secret that smuggle illegal immigrants earn and the inhabitants of border areas in Ukraine. However, unlike Greece, they get off “easy fright”. This month, according to the Unified state register of court decisions, three residents of Chernivtsi region was given two years probation for illegal transportation of illegal immigrants across the border to Romania.
A resident of the village Krasnoilsk (the same, where in June there was a conflict between border guards and local because of the contraband cigarettes), together with two accomplices decided to illegally smuggle across the border citizens of the Republic of Ghana. With every African they demanded 900 euros. First, illegal immigrants brought in krasnoil’s’k, where they sit in the hut at the local, and in the evening, immigrants from Ghana have brought to the Ukrainian-Romanian border, where they were detained by militiamen.