Hungary has released more than 1,400 foreigners convicted of people smuggling, a move challenged by the European Commission.

“We have released 1,468 detainees of foreign nationality who have been convicted of smuggling of human beings,” the National Command of Penitentiary Services told the Agence France-Presse news agency in an email.

In April, Budapest announced that it would release foreign people smugglers and give them three days to leave the country.

The government based its decision on overcrowding in jails, saying there were 2,600 prisoners from 73 countries in its prison system, who represented high costs for taxpayers.

“Hungary had to take this decision on people smugglers because Brussels does not contribute to the cost of border protection but punishes Hungary when prisons are overcrowded,” Deputy Interior Minister Bence Retvari said.