Eritrean News: A group of suspected undocumented immigrants from Eritrea and Kashmir were found in the back of a truck in Somerset in the U.K. Tuesday, reports Press TV.
The truck was carrying 15 individuals, including 11 young men (ages 19 to early 20s), three women and a 15-year-old boy.
British police said the driver was shocked to find the immigrants, who were discovered when police pulled over the truck after receiving calls about noises coming from the vehicle.
The truck was registered in Germany and was supposed to be delivering pharmaceutical supplies, police said. All individuals were treated for dehydration.
A German national was arrested for his role in transporting undocumented immigrants, which is the latest in a series of human-trafficking incidents in Europe. Britain’s National Crime Agency reported 566 cases of human trafficking to-date this year, according to Voice of Russia. These included 258 women, 134 men, 102 girls and 72 boys.
Three days prior to the 15 found in the truck, another 35 Afghan Sikhs were found in a shipping container — some of them dead — at Tilbury Dock.
The Times of India reported that a 34-year-old man from Limavady was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and facilitating illegal entry into the U.K. in connection with that incident.
In 2013, 1,746 potential victims of human trafficking in Britain were reported, which is an increase of 47 percent from the previous years.
Andrew Wallis, chief executive of anti-slavery charity Unseen, told Voice of Russia that there has been a demand for this type of trafficking, especially where a majority of the individuals are women, but said there is also a large number who seek asylum from war-torn areas.
“What these cases highlight is just the global nature of the problem. It is a particular issue for the west to come to terms and deal with, and its starting a debate about what are the real push-and-pull factors that give rise — what are the systemic causes that give rise to human trafficking in source countries,” he said. “When you’re presented with an option of grinding poverty, persecution, or a conflict zone and someone says, ‘I can get you to the west, I can get you to a job,’ it’s human nature to take that risk even if you know that risk is associated with human trafficking.”
The risks also include possible deaths of passengers during transport.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that at least 700 migrants drowned last year trying to sail from Africa to Italy, Voice of Russia reported.
“In the West, indeed the developed countries, there’s a real need for us to look at the demand that we’ve created for human trafficking and modern slavery to come roaring back, and that’s our insatiable demand for cheap labor, cheap goods and cheap sex,” Wallis said.