Inspections at the Ventimiglia border with France | Photo: ANSA/Lorenzo Ballestra
Inspections at the Ventimiglia border with France | Photo: ANSA/Lorenzo Ballestra

Eight migrants have been rescued from a lorry near the border crossing in Ventimiglia. The migrants, who were from several African countries, had been having trouble breathing and were unable to open the truck from inside.

The migrants were hidden in the trailer of a Spanish lorry near the highway border crossing in Ventimiglia. They were suffering severe respiratory problems when they called the Italian police to ask for help. The migrants, who were from different African countries, had allegedly entered the lorry when it was parked in the square in the early morning and had hidden amid the pallets. At 11 a.m. they began to suffer severe respiratory difficulties and, as they could not open the doors from inside, one called a public rescue service from his cell phone.

Timely intervention to rescue the migrants 

A nearby patrol intervened immediately. The soldiers managed to identify the lorry when the migrants began pounding on the sides from the inside. Once they were out, the migrants, who were between the ages of 30 and 40 and originally from Guinea, Mali, Tunisia, and Morocco, were taken to Parco Roja, where they received assistance. 

Three of the migrants identified were reported to the police because they were not in the country legally. A fourth, a Moroccan citizen with a criminal record for extortion and who had fled house arrest a few days before in Pesaro province, was handed over to authorities. 

According to reports, the driver of the lorry was not aware that the migrants had hidden there. 

Two Turkish men arrested at the same border 

Two Turkish citizens, aged 30 and 42, have been arrested by border police at the Mt Blanc tunnel on charges of aiding and abetting clandestine immigration. On Saturday morning, the two were found to be taking four fellow Turkish citizens without appropriate ID documents or permission to be in Italy towards France in a Peugeot 307. After the individuals were searched, receipts were found for ''cash payments made by the four being transported to the driver'', the Aosta police station said. 

The two arrested - Onur Ozer, 30, and Hasan Erdogan, 42 - accepted a plea bargain under which they will spend two years in prison and be fined 67,000 euros each.

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