Shelagh Fogarty 1pm - 4pm
Ferry crew discover 25 stowaways in refrigerated container on UK bound boat
20 November 2019, 05:37
Dutch police have discovered 25 stowaways in a container on a UK bound ferry.
Authorities reported they discovered the migrants hidden in a refrigerated container aboard a boat from the Netherlands.
The ship was forced to return to the port of Vlaardingen near Rotterdam following the discovery.
The Danish-registered Britannia Seaways ferry, operated by DFDS Seaways, had left Vulcaanhaven in Rotterdam-Vlaardingen and was heading to Felixstowe in England.
Emergency organisation Rijnmond Veilig said upon arrival at the port two of the stowaways were taken to hospital, while a further 23 were transferred to a police station, following a medical check.
The driver of a truck was arrested and will be questioned over possible involvement, police said.
Police told a Dutch broadcaster that crew members found the stowaways and alerted authorities after hearing "sounds coming from the cooling container".
A search of the ferry involving police dogs was carried out but no-one else was found.
The incident comes just weeks after the bodies of 39 people, believed to be Vietnamese, were found in a refrigerated lorry container in Essex in eastern England.
Two people have been charged in Britain and eight in Vietnam over the deaths.