People smuggler faces charges

A man who police say was responsible for one of the largest people smuggling rings in Europe was charged on Tuesday in a Gothenburg district court on 42 counts of human smuggling. Amir Heidari is suspected having led an organization that helped people move from Iran and other Middle East countries.

Heidari, who faces eight years in prison if convicted, was taken into custody in February.

“The investigation has been long and strenuous, but we believe we now taken out possibly the most important and most well organized European operator when it comes to human smuggling from Iran and Iraq to Europe and the western world,” said prosecutor Thomas Ahlstrand, according to Dagens Nyheter.

The man has previous convictions for similar crimes. The last conviction led to four years prison in 2002. The crimes he is now accused of have occurred during 2005 and 2006.

Heidari provided fake passports and even organized apartments for those needing board.

Ahlstrand said some of those smuggled in by Heidari would have likely been accepted by Sweden as refugees and would have received support.

Heidari has denied any wrongdoing.