Dozens of men and boys were found hiding in a refrigerated truck along a highway in northern Greece on Monday, according to officials, the discovery coming less than two weeks after 39 migrants were found dead in the back of a similar truck in Britain.
The truck stopped in Greece is believed to have crossed into the country from neighboring Turkey. The 41 migrants were discovered in the truck on a highway near the northern Greek city of Xanthi after police stopped the vehicle for a regular check.
All of the migrants except for two – an Iranian and a Syrian – were from Afghanistan, while six were minors, according to police. Eight were treated in a hospital for breathing problems, while the others weren't found to be suffering from health issues.
Police arrested the 40-year-old Georgian driver of the truck, which had Bulgarian plates. Officials told the Associated Press the refrigeration on the truck hadn't been switched on.
Hundreds of people cross Greece's land and sea border with Turkey each week, the vast majority hoping to make their way to other, more prosperous European countries.
Greece is currently facing the biggest resurgence in refugee arrivals since 2015, according to Reuters.
On the Aegean islands close to Turkey, some 34,000 asylum seekers and refugees are being held, the news agency reported.
The discovery in Greece came less than two weeks after 39 migrants, all of them Vietnamese, were found dead in a refrigerated truck container in southeastern England.
The 31 men and eight women are believed to have paid people traffickers for their clandestine transit into England. Police have not provided details about the scheme.
British police have charged 25-year-old Maurice Robinson, from Northern Ireland, with 39 counts of manslaughter and conspiracy to traffic people. They say he drove the cab of the truck to Purfleet, England, where it picked up the container, which had arrived by ferry from Zeebrugge in Belgium.
In Ireland, 22-year-old Eamonn Harrison was arrested Friday on a British warrant. Essex Police in Britain said they had started extradition proceedings to bring him to the U.K. to face charges of manslaughter. Two men in Vietnam have also been arrested and are suspected of helping organize the smuggling operation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.