The vehicle’s 31-year-old driver had been carrying a cargo of spare parts and post from Sweden’s Camp Victoria base in Kosovo when he pulled over outside Nuremberg to check on his load. He told police that when he pulled back the cover of the trailer, 24 people jumped out and ran away from the vehicle.
But German police are sceptical of this version of events and instead suspect the driver, who is not Swedish, of attempting to smuggle refugees. All 24 refugees – 21 Iraqis, two Afghans and one Pakistani – have now applied for asylum in Germany, according to a statement from German police, who have launched a preliminary investigation into people smuggling.
“This is not good whatever way you look at it,” Olle Schylander, head of logistics for the Armed Forces, told the TT news ageny.
“The Army is going to have to review its procedures and the companies it employs after this,” he added.
Schylander was eager to stress that the transport company in question was never contracted to deliver dangerous equipment.
“Any weapons or explosive materials we transport ourselves,” he said.