An Afghan caught traveling 400km attached to a lorry’s undercarriage has announced that he still plans to sneak into Northern Europe.
Drivers alerted police to the young Afghan man after they caught sight of him suspended from a makeshift belt harness.
Traffic police stopped the vehicle, and arrested the stowaway on the Naples-Rome stretch of the A1 motorway.
Police believe the Afghan had traveled 400km (250 miles) from Italy’s southeastern port of Brindisi strapped with leather belts to the lorry.
It was unclear when exactly he had attached himself to the underside of the vehicle but police believe he had travelled like that from the southeastern port of Brindisi, 400 kilometres from where the lorry was intercepted.
— Polizia di Stato (@poliziadistato) August 23, 2016
The vehicle’s Bulgarian drivers, who were traveling from Turkey to Spain, said they had been unaware of the stowaway’s presence. Police allowed them to continue their journey.
The Afghan told Sky TG24 that a trafficker attached him to the lorry on a ferry from Greece after he paid a trafficker 900 Euros (£765).
The man, who is thought to be around 20 years old, described the 22 hours he spent underneath the lorry as tough but not unbearable.
“I have been through much more dangerous things in Afghanistan than this journey,” the man said, admitting he paid the traffickers after having spent six months in a Greek migrant camp.
The Afghan was released to a migrant reception centre after a short stint in hospital following his risky journey.
The man was ordered to leave Italy within seven days as he refused to request asylum in the country. Telling interviewers that his mother and brothers are living in Switzerland the Afghan said he plans to travel to France to meet up with friends. The migrant added that once in France he hopes to stay, learn the language and be given a “secure life”.
Nearly 105,000 migrants have been recorded entering Italy since the start of 2016 but many avoid registering in the country, hoping to sneak into Northern Europe for more welfare money.