August 23, 2016 / 10:47 AM / 3 years ago

Bulgaria charges four Afghans with people-smuggling

SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgaria charged four Afghans with smuggling offences, prosecutors said on Tuesday, for trying to help 29 Syrians cross the Bulgarian-Turkish border through the Rezovska river on Sunday.

The four, who are not registered as refugees in the Balkan country, could face up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to 30,000 levs (13,183.23 pounds), if convicted.

Bulgaria introduced tougher jail terms last year to deter refugee smugglers.

It has deployed more border police at its south-east border following an attempted coup in Turkey last month amid fears of a potential rush of migrants.

Last month, Bulgaria also charged four police officers with smuggling of illegal migrants.

Reporting by Angel Krasimirov Editing by Jeremy Gaunt

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