German police find 31 migrants hidden in Turkish driver's truck

German police find 31 migrants hidden in Turkish driver’s truck

BERLIN — German police and customs officers have discovered 31 migrants hidden inside a refrigerated truck near the Czech border, police said Wednesday. Five of the men were injured during their journey.

The truck was checked Tuesday evening on the A17 highway between the border and the German city of Dresden, federal police said in a statement. The driver, a 57-year-old Turkish man, was detained on suspicion of knowingly smuggling into Germany people who didn’t have permission to enter the country. The migrants were all men between the ages of 18 and 47.

Twenty-four of them were Turkish nationals. They also included three Syrians, three Iranians and an Iraqi, German authorities said. Police said the men had to lie on top of boxes of melons in freezing temperatures during their ride, with less than 3.3 feet between them and the truck’s roof.

No details were given on the injuries, and police are still investigating how long the migrants had been in the truck and where they boarded it.

Dozens of migrants inside trucks have died over the past few years while trying to enter the European Union.

In 2015, 71 migrants died inside a truck in Austria and in 2019, 39 Vietnamese migrants were found dead inside a truck container in Britain.

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