Police are to file charges against eight suspects over the deaths of 71 migrants left locked in a refrigerated truck on a roadside in Austria last year, Zoltán Boross, an official in charge of migration issues at operational police’s national investigations bureau, has said. The search is still on for three Bulgarian drivers. Boross said that when the suspects crossed the Hungarian-Austrian border, they already knew that the people in the vehicle were dead. The criminal gang had been headed by an Afghan citizen who had lived in Hungary as a beneficiary of subsidiary protection but his status had since been withdrawn. Among the eight people under pre-trial detention are a Bulgarian-Lebanese man whose alleged task was to acquire the vehicles needed for human smuggling, and Bulgarian drivers. One of the suspects is the 25-year-old man who drove the refrigerated vehicle, Boross said. Police were unable to track the trail of the gang’s profits but suspect that the ringleader sent the money to Afghanistan, he said. The money had been transported either as cash in bags or sent to Afghanistan via an untraceable wire transfer. Boross said police found a purchase agreement in the truck that indicated it was bought in Kecskemét. Police had obtained about 1500 hours of CCTV footage from 24 sections of the route the accused followed from Hungary’s southern border to Austria. Like the Austrian investigation, the Hungarian one also concluded that it took no more than three hours for the migrants to suffocate after being locked in. The Afghan ringleader had first come to Hungary in 2013. Since then he had had multiple run-ins with the law, most of which were over drug-related crimes, rowdiness and speeding. Another one of the suspects had fled to Hungary because he was wanted in Bulgaria for drunk driving. The drivers employed by the alleged gang were typically Bulgarian nationals living in poor conditions with part-time jobs.