The Italian-French border in Ventimiglia.Photo/ANSA
The Italian-French border in Ventimiglia.Photo/ANSA

Fifteen migrants, including an 11-year-old boy, were discovered in poor health condition inside a horse van inside which they had traveled from Slovenia to France.

Fifteen migrants, including an 11-year-old boy, traveled from Slovenia, across northern Italy to the border with France, crammed inside a horse van before they were stopped by police in Ventimiglia. 

One of the migrants ended up in hospital while a Tunisian was arrested on charges of aiding illegal immigration. The migrants, who were in poor health condition due to the hardship of the trip, included 14 Syrians and the Tunisian detained by police, said deputy police commissioner Gianfranco Crocco. 

Tunisian detained 

Atef Abboud, 31, a Tunisian national living in Gassin, near Saint Tropez, was stopped by traffic police for a routine check in Ventimiglia when officers noticed he acted nervously and decided to search the van, discovering the migrants hidden inside. Police officers immediately requested more help and an ambulance as one of the migrants felt sick after traveling in such grueling conditions. 

The trip 

According to investigators, Abboud left from Bosnia Herzegovina. The migrants are believed to have boarded the van somewhere between Slovenia and Italy. The van then traveled through northern Italy to reach Ventimiglia, with the intention of entering France. Police officers seized the van and 2,000 euros in cash, along with four cell phones, believed to have been used by the suspect to talk with others helping him smuggle the migrants into France. 

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