Case Law Database

Smuggling of migrants


• Enabling illegal entry
• Financial or other material benefit (to smuggler)


• land


Fact Summary

-       The public prosecution filed an indictment against the accused N.S.

-       By the verdict of the Basic Court in Skopje it was established that the accused N.S. committed criminal offenses Smuggling of migrants Article 418-b Paragraph 4 in conjunction with Paragraph 2.

-       The Accused N.S. was in custody as of 17.07.2015.

The Accused N.S. acknowledged that he had committed the criminal offense with which he was charged.

Commentary and Significant Features

Acting upon the appeal of the defence counsel of the convicted N.S. against the judgment of the Basic Court in Skopje, the Appellate Court in Skopje – Specialized Department for Investigation and Prosecution of Organized Crime and Corruption Offences (S. KOK. no. 115/15) in a closed session dismissed the appeal as unfounded and confirmed the first-instance verdict against N.S. convicting him of the criminal offence of Smuggling of Migrants under Art 418b paragraph 4 in relation to paragraph 2 of the RM CC and sentencing him to imprisonment of five years and six months.


Proceeding in accordance with Art 427 paragraph 1 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the court ex officio examined whether there had been a substantial violation of the criminal procedure referred to in Art 415 para. 1 items 1,5,6,8 to 11 of the CPC and found that no such violation was committed, that the impugned judgment was clear, comprehensible and completely in accordance with the rules and regulation regarding the existence of the criminal offence and criminal liability of the defendant.


Considering the fact that the first-instance court rendered the decision on the basis of a full, clear and unforced confession of the defendant N.S., which he had given during the examination in chief, referring to the facts which represent the description of the actions, aware of all crucial facts and the consequences that the confession entails, the first instance court, acting in keeping with law, processed and evaluated only such evidence as was relevant for deciding on the type and severity of punishment.


The decision of the Appellate Court emphasizes that in similar procedural situations, in accordance with Art 381 para 4 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Macedonia, the convict has no right to appeal against the verdict on the grounds of improperly established facts. The court therefore did not consider the allegations of the convict that he had agreed on business cooperation with a transportation and logistics company Exxxxx Ltd and taken over a taxi vehicle in order to perform public transport in keeping with the Law on Road Traffic, that he had a ride to Gevgelija and that on his way back he was stopped by a group of foreign nationals. As a taxi driver, he agreed to drive them to Kumanovo, but he did not know that they were migrants. He stated that he did not have a prior agreement with them, that by checking the listing of his mobile phone it could be established that he had not communicated with anyone from the group, that no one else had hired him. He also pointed out that the indictment was based on the records and photo documentation on seized objects, which could be tampered with, so that the case could not be treated as a criminal offence, but perhaps as an infringement.


The Appellate Court found, on the basis of the facts, that the first instance court had correctly applied the Criminal Code, given that the actions of the convicted N.S. precisely described in the contested ruling, contained all the essential elements of the criminal offence of Smuggling of Migrants under Art 418b para 4 in relation with Art 2 of the Criminal Code, due to which the allegations on misapplication of material law were unfounded. 


Assessing the decision on the sentence, the Appellate Court pointed out that the first-instance court had acted correctly when it imposed imprisonment of five years and six months after taking into consideration both the mitigating and aggravating circumstances defined in Articles 39 and 40 of the Criminal Code.  In this regards, the first-instance court had correctly considered the intensity of damage to the protected good and the frequency of the criminal offence as aggravating circumstances, and - in correlation with these - the mitigating circumstances (the earlier life of the defendant, the fact that no criminal proceedings had been instituted against him, personal and family situation, material situation, circumstances and conduct following the perpetration of the offence, expressed regret and repentance for the committed criminal offence, proper conduct during the proceedings) and pronounced the sentence in accordance with the provisions pertaining to mitigation of penalties (the legislator prescribed the sentence of at least eight years of imprisonment).

Sentence Date:

Cross-Cutting Issues


... for

• completed offence

... based on

• criminal intention

... as involves

• principal offender(s)

Investigation Procedure

Involved Agencies

• Ministry of Interior
• Public Prosecutor's Office

Confiscation and Seizure

Seized Property

Vehicle of the brand Opel Astra, mobile phone of the brand Samsung and Tablet of the brand NN.

Legal Basis

Objects in relation to which the offense has been committed
  • Conviction Basis:
    Non-conviction based
  • Comments

    Temporary seizure of objects

    Procedural Information

    Legal System:
    Civil Law
    Latest Court Ruling:
    Appellate Court
    Type of Proceeding:
    Accused were tried:
    together (single trial)
    Proceeding #1:
  • Stage:
    first trial
  • Official Case Reference:
  • Decision Date:
    13 June 2016


    Court Title

    The Basic Court in Skopje
    (Macedonian: Основниот суд Скопје I)


  • City/Town:
  • • Criminal


    Based on the facts that the Accused E.A. acknowledged that he had committed the criminal offense he was charged with, the Basic Court in Skopje has sentenced N.S. to 5 years and 6 months in prison.


  • Verdict:
  • Sentences


    Other Sanctions

    Security measure / confiscation of objects- mobile phone, tablet
    Proceeding #2:
  • Stage:
  • Official Case Reference:
  • Decision Date:
    01 September 2016


    Court Title

    Appellate Court of Skopje


  • City/Town:
  • • Other


    The Court rejected the Defendant's appeal.


  • Verdict:
  • Other Outcome

    Decision Upheld.


    No information about the smuggled migrants was available based on the appellate decision in question.

    Defendants / Respondents in the first instance

    of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

    Charges / Claims / Decisions

    Smuggling of Migrants
    Criminal Code of the Republic of MacedoniaArticle 418-b Paragraph 4 in conjunction with Paragraph 2
    Term of Imprisonment:
    5 years 6 Months


    Appellate Court of Skopje