Thanking the People Smugglers - Hungary

When people smugglers are heroes

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People smugglers are usually seen as heartless profiteers who exploit the weak. But, as this report shows, some smugglers are also regarded as saviours for many of those desperately fleeing their homeland.

55 years ago Les Murray, a well-known TV presenter, and his family were forced to escape from communism in Hungary. He needed the help of smugglers. Whether mercenaries or angels, most refugees can't flee from danger across borders without their help. "They took enormous risks to do what they did, and I believe it's my duty - not just a wish - to thank them." While many see people smugglers as taking advantage of the most vulnerable, Les says enormous risks were taken for his family. "And then the savage irony that they're the ones who get arrested. They're the ones who get stuck." Returning to his homeland, he's now determined to track them down.

January 2012