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Last updated on January 13th, 2024 at 07:05 am
Irish authorities are currently investigating a concerning incident where 14 individuals, including two young girls aged six and four, were found inside a shipping container that arrived at Rosslare Europort from Belgium. The majority of the group comprised Kurds from Iran and Iraq, with additional individuals from Vietnam and Turkey. The news revealed when a lorry, carrying the refrigerated container, was halted upon exiting the ferry from Zeebrugge, Belgium.
Timely Distress Call
Around 3 am on Monday, a distress call from a Kurdish woman within the container was relayed to Irish authorities by the UK coast guard, preceding the ship’s arrival at port. The fast response played a big role in ensuring the safety of the individuals closed in the container.
Conditions and Swift Action
Despite enduring potentially 24 hours in freezing temperatures at -4 degrees, the 14 individuals were found to be in good health. The migrants, struggling to breathe, resorted to cutting a hole in the side of the container for ventilation. Transport Minister Eamon Ryan express his relief at their safty and he said the timely intervention save them from tragity.
Smuggling Network Involvement
Investigations suggested the involvement of a professional smuggling ring, emphasizing the sophistication of the operation. Eugene Drennan, former chairman of the Irish Road Vehicle Association, has revealed the tactics used by the perpetrators, who completely sealed the truck to avoid detection
Ongoing Investigations and Past Incidents
Authorities are diligently working to determine when and how the migrants entered the container, loaded south of Paris before traveling to Belgium. This situation reminds us of similar things that happened before in the area. It makes us worry about how strong these smuggling groups are.
Humanitarian Response and Asylum Considerations
Irish President Michael D. Higgins stressed the importance of figuring out why people are being smuggled and suggested being understanding and kind. The migrants have been moved to a place to stay, and there are requests for special help for those who were smuggled and trafficked. Prime Minister Leo Varadkar assured a humanitarian response, pledging swift processing of asylum claims and acknowledging the necessity for safe pathways for those seeking refuge in Ireland.