MONTREAL (Reuters) - Canadian authorities are treating the discovery on Thursday of four men hiding in a shipping container at the Port of Montreal as a case of illegal entry, officials told Reuters.
The men, in their 30s, suffered dehydration but no severe injuries and were taken to hospital, said Stephane Smith, a spokesman for Urgences Sante emergency services.
Local media and a source familiar with the matter said the men were from the former Soviet republic of Georgia.
The men were hiding in a container found on the OOCL Montreal vessel, which arrived at the port after making stops in Hamburg and Antwerp, according to Reuters data and an industry source who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.
A Canadian representative of the Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) in Toronto declined to comment, but said the company has its own “internal investigation going on” and is cooperating with the Canada Border Services Agency.
OOCL, owned by Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas (International) Limited, is a global integrated container, transportation and logistics company.
Authorities are treating this as an “illegal entry” case, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable Erique Gasse said.
The CBSA declined to comment further.
Reporting by Allison Lampert in Montreal and Anna Mehler Paperny in Toronto; Editing by James Dalgleish and Cynthia Osterman