Onlookers in Switzerland were stunned when an Eritrean migrant emerged from a travelling case on a train platform. The migrant, said to be in his 20s, crammed himself into the suitcase to get on board a train leaving Italy for Switzerland disguised as his friend’s luggage.
As one might expect, the Eritrean migrant – who is six feet tall – grew increasingly uncomfortable in his cramped position inside the suitcase. As the journey progressed, he let out a series of painful yelps which drew the attention of other passengers on the train. Meanwhile, the other migrant who had posed as the owner of the luggage was nowhere to seen.
Worried passengers who had no idea what the luggage contained alerted the police authorities, who took the suitcase off the train at a stop in the Swiss town of Chiasso. On the station platform, officers and other onlookers were astonished when a human hand poked out of the suitcase. The migrant – who at this point must have been past caring – reached an arm out of the luggage and thrust his head free. He appeared to struggle to unzip the case, and the authorities had to assist him before grabbing him and making a quick search for his friend and accomplice.
Speaking to the Sun, a Swiss police spokesperson said they received a tip off from the Italian police that two Eritrean migrants were attempting to cross the Italian-Swiss border.
“The information was that one man was hidden in a suitcase and another man was travelling with him. The suitcase was pointed out to us and the man found inside. He was in his 20s and we found his friend hiding in a toilet on the train.”
Both migrants were found to be travelling without valid documents. They were attempting to cross into Switzerland, head to northern Europe, and onwards to Britain. They have both been sent back to Italy.
Eritreans constitute the second-largest group of refugees in Europe, many of them fleeing a repressive regime that has instituted forced conscription into national service and shows little regard for the Constitution or the rule of law. Many Eritrean immigrants make their way to Europe by sea aboard overcrowded ferry boats; they often face the risk of exploitation from unscrupulous people smugglers, serious health hazards, and even death in the course of their voyage.