Thursday 22 March 2018

Iranian asylum seekers detained at Rosslare

Colm O’Gorman
Colm O’Gorman
Adam Cullen

Adam Cullen

Four Iranian asylum seekers have been detained trying to enter Ireland on an Irish Ferries vessel at Rosslare.

The two men and two women managed to make it to the Wexford port from Cherbourg late last month but were apprehended when disembarking from the vessel.

Suspicions were raised when one of the group produced a false Bulgarian passport.

They told gardaí that two of them had arrived in Italy on a boat from northern Africa, while the other two landed in southern France in a small boat before attempting to make the crossing.

During questioning, they revealed they had paid thousands of euro to a British people-smuggler. The group was deported back to France where they told police they had fallen victim to an organised smuggling network. Their statements later led to arrests in the UK and France.

Detection methods have now been stepped up in Rosslare Port with customs officers using carbon dioxide probes to identify stowaways in the back of trucks.

From April 2014 to 2015, a total of 2,984 non-nationals were refused permission to enter or be in the State. Some 891 of these were turned away at Irish ports with fraudulent or incorrect travel documents.

A further 872 were refused entry for not having the right form of visa.

Concerns have been raised over the number of migrants looking to make the crossing to Ireland from Cherbourg.

Colm O'Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International Ireland, said: "Given the distance involved, if this is true, it means they face increased danger of harm."

Irish Independent

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