Berlin, January 10 (RHC)-- A human smuggler left 19 refugees, including five children, at a motorway parking area in freezing temperatures in southern Germany and fled the scene, according to police in Berlin.
Police said the temperature was -4 °F when they found the refugees, one of whom had approached two other people at the parking area to raise the alarm after their driver left them. They were freezing cold when the emergency services reached them near Brandenburg, just across the border from Austria. The refugees did not have passports but said they had come from Iraq, Iran and Syria.
They told police they had paid between $526 to $842 per person to be taken from an Italian refugee center to Germany. Police said a manhunt was underway to find the driver of the van with British license plates.
Four of the refugee children were taken into the care of a youth welfare office. The rest were taken to a reception center for refugees, police said. Chancellor Angela Merkel's open-door policies have allowed about 1.1 million refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere into Germany since mid-2015.
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