Author- Emma Brazell
Police have discovered 41 migrants hiding in a refrigerated truck in northeastern Greece. The refrigeration system in the lorry had not been turned on and none of the people inside were injured, though some asked for medical assistance, a Greek police official said. Authorities revealed that all but two of the migrants inside the lorry – which is believed to have crossed into the country from Turkey – were from Afghanistan and the others from Iran and Syria. Police had stopped the truck on a highway near the northern Greek city of Xanthi for a regular check. They have arrested the Georgian driver, 40, of the truck, which had Bulgarian registration plates. The people found inside the truck have been taken to a nearby police station for identification.
A police spokesman said incidents like this were happening ‘more frequently’ due to people’s desperation.
Lt Col Theodoros Chronopolous told the Guardian: ‘A police operation is under way but we believe the lorry entered the country from Turkey. ‘Discoveries of this sort are rare but happening more frequently mainly because migrants want to avoid the islands.’ The discovery comes after 39 migrants, all believed to be Vietnamese, were found dead in a refrigerated truck near London last month. Among them was Pham Thi Tra My, 26, who sent a harrowing text to her family saying she could not breath hours before the vehicle was discovered in Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays, Essex. Greece is currently struggling with the biggest resurgence in refugee arrivals since 2015, which saw more than a million people cross into Europe from Turkey via Greece.
About 34,000 asylum seekers and refugees are being held in camps on the Aegean islands close to Turkey.