A dozen men found in cooling container next to E34 motorway
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A dozen men found in cooling container next to E34 motorway

The 12 men have all been found healthy. Credit: Belga

On Tuesday night, 12 adult men were found in a cooling container on a car park next to the E34 motorway in the province of Antwerp.

The driver of the cooling container truck, that was transporting fruits and vegetables, was the one who called the police because he suspected that people had climbed into his refrigerated truck, according to Belga.

“Last night we received a call from a truck driver who suspected that there were people in his refrigerated truck near the municipality of Oud-Turnhout. When we intervened, we indeed found 12 adult men. 11 are of Syrian origin, and one Sudanese,” said Sarah Frederickx of the Federal police, reports VRT NWS.

The 12 men have all been found healthy, and in the meantime, have been transferred to the Immigration Department.

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The European E34 motorway is part of the United Nations International E-road network and connects Germany to Zeebrugge, the major seaport of Bruges, where the truck that carried the 39 dead bodies people to Essex in England recently passed through.

“We have been calling for safe motorway parking and an integrated approach for some time now,” said Isabelle De Maegt of Febetra, the umbrella federation for transport. “It is long overdue,” she added.

Refrigerated trucks are used often to smuggle people “because the heat scanner system is easier to bypass,” De Maegt said.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times