Reports say Austrian police have rescued 24 Afghan teenagers who were crammed inside a van described as a “prison cell on wheels”.
Point of view
They had been packed into this dangerous vehicle like objects, crammed on top of each other into a very small space... It was like a prison cell on wheels
It came amid tightened controls on incoming lorries after dozens of people were found dead last week.
“The car was carrying 24 Afghan minors, most aged around 16 or 17. They had been packed into this dangerous vehicle like objects, crammed on top of each other into a very small space,” a spokesman told AFP.
“The windows and side doors had been welded shut, a grill had been welded to the inside of the windows which were sprayed in black paint. A locking bolt had also been attached to the doors on the outside. It was like a prison cell on wheels.”
The Afghans reportedly did not need medical attention. The Romanian driver was arrested.
The border checks have caused long traffic jams on the Hungarian side of the border, and confusion between both countries’ authorities.
“We are continuously negotiating with the Austrian, German and other affected governments to ensure everyday life continues and that Hungarian citizens should not be prevented from going to work every day,” said a Hungarian Trade and Foreign Affairs Minister, Levente Magyar, responding to a question from euronews.
Two more arrests have been reported in connection with the 71 dead refugees found in an abandoned truck in Austria.
Police say one was held in Bulgaria, the other in Hungary. It’s not known what alleged role they played.
A total of seven people are in custody.
Austria finds itself increasingly involved in Europe’s migration crisis.
Thousands pass through hoping to find asylum in countries like Germany or Sweden.
An estimated 20,000 sympathisers marched in Vienna on Monday. Their message: “no-one is illegal”.