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garda quiz Truck driver arrested after two illegal immigrants were found hiding in sleeper cab at Rosslare Europort

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Gardai have arrested a truck driver after two illegal immigrants were found hiding in the cab of his truck at Rosslare Europort yesterday evening.

The male and female who told officers that they were Vietnamese nationals were discovered in the sleeper cab behind the driver’s truck when the vehicle came into the Co Wexford port on a Stena ferry from Cherbourg in France.

The illegal immigrants had no identification on them and they were brought to Wexford Garda Station for questioning at around 5pm.

The driver of the truck was arrested at the port and the Hungarian national who is aged in his late 40’s was also brought to the same station.

The truck came into Ireland with no trailer unit and sources said last night that gardai think it is “virtually impossible” that the driver was unaware that the illegal immigrants were in his truck.

“On the surface this seems a very blatant attempt to smuggle people into Ireland and it was a highly unusual capture,” a senior source said.

“The driver is denying any knowledge of the immigrants being in his cab which does not seem plausible,” the source added.

While it is common for illegal immigrants to be found in the trailer units of trucks, it is “highly unusual” for them to be found in the cab of the vehicles.

Yesterday’s development happened just three days after six suspected illegal immigrants were discovered after entering Rosslare Europort from Cherbourg.

Three men who claimed to be Afghan nationals were discovered at the port and sent back to France on the next ferry.

Three more Afghan males including a juvenile were discovered later in west Dublin and gardai announced details of what happened in the capital on Monday afternoon in a press statement.

“Gardaí in Clondalkin are investigating possible immigration offences, that occurred on the afternoon of Monday 23rd November, 2020 at approximately 4.20p.m,” a garda spokeswoman said.

“A truck arrived at Park West, Clondalkin after coming into the country via Rosslare Port.

When the driver opened truck, three men were located in the trailer.

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“The three men were detained in Ballyfermot Garda station receiving medical attention.

“The trailer is detained for technical examination,” the spokeswoman said.

It is unclear if the three men who were discovered in Clondalkin have applied for asylum here.

In July, gardai launched an investigation into possible "immigration offences" after six males were spotted leaving a truck which had arrived in Rosslare Port.

The men were seen alighting from a truck which was making a delivery in Newtownmountkennedy at around 10.50am on July 13.

The truck arrived in the Co Wicklow town having come from Rosslare Port.

The truck was detained by gardaí for technical examination as part of the investigation.

The number of illegal immigrants ordered to leave Ireland last year almost doubled, while there was also a sharp increase in the number of non-EU nationals refused entry into the Republic.

The 2019 figures show the number of non-EU nationals being turned away at border controls in Ireland also hit a 10-year peak in 2019 with 7,455 refused entry – a daily average of over 20.

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