The truck was on a ship that was en route from Vlaardingen to the English Felixstowe. The ferry returned when the 25 stowaways, presumably refugees, were discovered in a refrigerated container after they called for help.
At that time there was almost no more oxygen in the cold store. The stowaways, mainly of Iraqi and Kuwaiti descent, had therefore made a hole in the trailer. Emergency services flocked to the harbor as a precaution, two people were eventually taken to hospital.
The refugees were in a bad state when they returned to Vlaardingen, the prosecutor said. A few videos, shown in court today, show how serious the situation was.
The images, made by a police officer, show that the stowaways are stunned on the ground after they have been removed from the cooling container. One person is screaming desperately, others have become unwell due to lack of oxygen. They can no longer walk or stand.
However, the Public Prosecution Service does not agree with this and calls the suspect’s statement ‘implausible’. According to the prosecutor, the migrants must have boarded after loading was completed.
It is not yet clear whether the ruling will follow in two weeks. More research may need to be done first.