Fourteen people were found on April 2 in the back of a refrigerated truck at the Rosslare Europort in Ireland, The Irish Times reported.
The people – 11 men, two women and a child – are from Afghanistan and Iran and they include a number of Kurdish-Iranians. One of the men was taken to hospital for observation.
The truck, which was carrying fruit, arrived at 2pm after a 16-hour crossing from Cherbourg, France. An immigration official ordered it to be opened.
According to the Irish Independent, the group may have spent up to three days inside the refrigerated unit which was at a temperature of around 5 degrees celsius (41 F).
All 14 people will be referred to Ireland’s refugees’ programme.
According to RTÉ in November 2016, 124 people were discovered at Irish ports attempting to enter the country illegally over the previous two years. Of these, 63 were found in 2015, and 61 up to November 2016.
The majority – 77% – were found at Rosslare Port.
Eighty people said they were from Afghanistan, 15 were Kurds, 13 Iranian, and the others were Albanian, Pakistani, Sudanese, Libyan, Kuwaiti and Iraqi.
It is unclear how many applied for asylum and how many were returned to their port of departure.
On January 23, three men were arrested at Dublin Airport as part of an investigation into an international people-smuggling network, RTÉ reported. Two of those arrested were employee’s of Ireland’s Aer Lingus airline.
Garda National Immigration Bureau officers said they believed the network has been running for years and that up to 100 people per year may have been trafficked through Dublin Airport.
Gardaí identified a supposed travel agency in Rome which allegedly charged tens of thousands of euro to illegally send people from Asia into Dublin.
On arrival, they were provided with clothing disguising them as Aer Lingus employees and then driven from the airport to a safe house in the city. They were then able to travel to other European countries.