A view of the Port of Salerno where on January 14, 2021, 26 irregular migrants were found hidden in two containers on a ship from Turkey | Photo: ANSA
A view of the Port of Salerno where on January 14, 2021, 26 irregular migrants were found hidden in two containers on a ship from Turkey | Photo: ANSA

Italian authorities at the Port of Salerno on January 14 discovered 26 migrants who had illegally entered the country on a ship from Turkey. They had hid for more than three days inside two containers.

Early Thursday morning (January 14), maritime border police at the Port of Salerno discovered 26 migrants who had entered Italy irregularly by hiding in two containers on a ship from Turkey.

The officers, led by deputy police chief Giuliana Postiglione, were awaiting the migrants as they emerged from the containers in which they had been enclosed for more than three days.

The container ship left the port of Aliaga, Turkey, on Monday evening, and arrived in Salerno on Wednesday morning.

Of the 26 migrants, six are minors (one girl and five boys), while the remaining 20 are adults (eight men and 12 women).

Asylum request for the migrants

The authorities highlighted that the 26 foreigners will be able to apply for political asylum.

Identification procedures revealed that the migrants are Kurdish and Iraqi and all belong to the same religious minority, Yazidi, which is among those most persecuted by ISIS.

According to an initial reconstruction by maritime border police, the migrants started out from Iraq, and after reaching the Turkish port of Aliaga they hid in the containers to reach Italy. The journey took three days, but the migrants were inside the containers for an additional 15 hours.

It was only at 4 am on Thursday morning that they made an attempt to emerge, but at that point they were met by the police officers.

The adults in the group were sent to reception centres in the province, while the six unaccompanied minors were assigned to family homes.

Investigators said nearly all of the migrants have relatives in Germany.

The Salerno prosecutor's office has opened an investigation, but at the current time no charges have been made against the ship's captain, who remains under investigation.

 

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