Hungarian news site 444.hu reports strange things happening in the southern Hungarian border town of Röszke. This hot spot for asylum seekers entering Hungary is being flooded with groups of drivers “offering” rides (for money) to asylum seekers trying to get to Budapest and beyond.
444.hu writes that on Wednesday there were what appeared to be around a hundred people haggling with asylum seekers over the cost of a ride up to Budapest.
The news site says that police were nowhere to be seen.
444.hu writes the drivers were negotiating with asylum seekers in plain view. When the asylum seekers broke out of a collection point in Röszke Tuesday night, the drivers were openly offering rides to groups walking in their direction.
One of the drivers reportedly saw reporters and called out to others in the area that they were being filmed. The man who saw the reporters had then pulled his hoodie over his head and disappeared “back into the dark”.
One 444.hu reporter recounted how he was approached by a driver and offered a ride to Budapest for EUR 250 after being mistaken for an asylum seeker.
The reporters say they were even threatened at a gas station when a group of drivers noticed their presence.
Police in Röszke tell 444.hu they are aware of what is happening.
There is certainly demand for the smugglers because there is always the possibility that asylum seekers will evade Hungarian immigration authorities as they seek to pass through Hungary in their journey toward Western Europe.
444.hu reports asylum seekers approaching their reporters cash in hand, asking where to go to find a driver.
Aside from being illegal, the smuggling of asylum seekers is also incredibly dangerous — as seen from the unfortunate tragedy involving the deaths of 71 asylum seekers in the bed of a truck found parked along the highway in Austria. Also, it appears that at least some of the drivers are not delivering their fares to freedom but rather to captivity.