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Hungarian Parliament votes on measures to manage refugees

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Budapest: Hungarian Parliament held a special session on Friday and voted on a number of measures to help manage the flood of refugees that have been pouring into Hungary from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other crisis regions.

The new law deals with the huge number of people who have to be registered under European Union regulations, Xinhua news agency reported.

Parliament has resolved to handle the registration in special procedures in “transit zones”, along the border or in Budapest, rather than waiting until the people are moved to less transient holding facilities.

Authorities will be required to decide on whether to accept asylum requests within eight days of application.

Courts will be able to invalidate such decisions and call for cases to be revisited.

en.wikipedia.org
en.wikipedia.org

Parliament has also exempted vehicles officially transporting refugees from paying highway tolls.

At the same time, it has declared illegally crossing the border, damaging the border fence, or preventing ongoing fence construction to be felony offenses. Under the new law migrants found in violation must be expelled from the country and also may be imprisoned beforehand.

Under these laws the people who organise people-smuggling rings will face 10 to 20 years imprisonment.

Parliament has also agreed that laws protecting arable land and the environment may be suspended to build emergency facilities to house refugees in crisis situations. The government has been given the authority to pass decrees allowing such construction.

The new laws will take effect on the day after they are promulgated, expected to be on or before September 15.

(IANS)

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Automobile Parts, Water Pumps, Diesel Power Generators And Electric Locks; Chinese Smugglers in North Korea Have Good Business

The source said that under normal circumstances, the goods being smuggled would not be worth the bribes these smugglers must pay to get the goods across the river, but the sanctions have made the effort worthwhile.

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North Koreans cross the river border near Sinuiju, North Korea and Dandong, China. Pixabay

The sanctions, aimed at depriving North Korea of resources that could be channeled into its nuclear program, prohibit U.N. member nations from exporting certain goods into North Korea.

The illegal but lucrative trade in banned goods has enabled the merchants to amass small fortunes.

“Many of them are making money by smuggling goods prohibited by the Chinese government into North Korea across the river,” said a source from a Chinese city bordering North Korea in an interview with RFA’s Korean Service.

“[These] merchants are doing big business, able to smuggle 200,000 Chinese Yuan (about $30,000) worth of illegal goods into the North [with each shipment],” said the source.

The large-scale nature of their smuggling enterprise necessitates an effort that amounts to far more than an individual hiding a few pieces of contraband in their personal luggage. These operations require complex teamwork, according to the source.

One partner operating in China will deliver the goods across the river to the other partner in North Korea. Trust is paramount in these types of operations, so many work with family members.

“Most of them work in pairs, like a husband and wife or a father and son. They can also team up with other smugglers and send goods [to each other] across the river,” said the source.

The source described two popular routes for smugglers, explaining that the width of the river and the presence of border guards were a factor in determining the costs of their trade.

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“Many of them are making money by smuggling goods prohibited by the Chinese government into North Korea across the river,” said a source from a Chinese city bordering North Korea in an interview with RFA’s Korean Service. Pixabay

“It costs about 200 Chinese Yuan (about $30), on average, to transport 70 kilos from Changbai county, Jilin province to Hyesan city, through a [professional] smuggler. However, it costs double if they transport the package via Dandong and Sinuiju.” the source said, referring to towns and cities on the shared river border between China and North Korea.

“The river is much wider [between Dandong and Sinuiju] and they have to spend more to bribe the Chinese and North Korean border guards,” said the source.

The source said that under normal circumstances, the goods being smuggled would not be worth the bribes these smugglers must pay to get the goods across the river, but the sanctions have made the effort worthwhile.

Another source, an ethnic Korean living in China said the items being smuggled include “automobile parts, water pumps, diesel power generators and electric locks.”

“Items like these seem like they would be necessary for North Korean companies, high ranking officials or [otherwise] rich people,” the source said.

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Smuggling has become more and more commonplace as North Korea transitions into a market economy. As people cannot live on what they are paid by the government, many must find alternative income sources. Pixabay

“[The smugglers] make more money when there are more things to smuggle so they actually welcome international sanctions on North Korea,” the source said.

“It actually works out because China and North Korea have a common interest in bringing sanctioned goods into North Korea,” the source said.

Also Read: Toddler Locks Father’s iPad for Nearly Half a Century

Smuggling has become more and more commonplace as North Korea transitions into a market economy. As people cannot live on what they are paid by the government, many must find alternative income sources. This has led to a very active black market enabled by bribery and corruption, often with government and military officials themselves leading the smuggling operations.

RFA reported in March that a commander of a North Korean border defense regiment was arrested for embezzling funds from a state-sanctioned car smuggling scheme. Sources in that story were surprised by the sudden crackdown on smugglers, given that the practice is rampant along the border with China. (RFA)