The shipment travelled through Croatia, Egypt, Spain and Argentina before reaching Paraguay. pixabay


  • Out of the seven bodies, three are yet to be identified.
  • The shipment left on July 22 from Serbia
  • Asphyxiation is the likely cause of death

Paraguayan officials on Saturday reported that workers of an agricultural factory in Asuncion have discovered decomposed human remains in a fertilizer container shipment. The officials have identified that the remains are of seven different people- possibly undocumented migrants trying to travel to Croatia.

Of the seven bodies, three have been identified as Moroccans and one as Egyptian through a forensic study. All the seven victims are believed to be male adults. According to Pablo Lemir, a forensic officer, asphyxiation was the likely cause of death and the presence of the fertilizer could have accelerated the process of decomposition.

“Indications are that they were people who ventured to transport themselves by means of the container ship and died inside. They might have died from starvation, lack of oxygen or perhaps some illness,” Marcelo Saldivar , the chief investigating officer said in a statement to The Associated Press.

"We assume that they arrived there from their country of origin and had planned to travel to a nearer destination but they did not calculate the distance well and did not survive the trip," Marcelo told the Reuters news agency.

They also discovered remains of the food supplies — cookies and canned food, which they probably carried for the journey. A receipt from a Serbian taxi company, probably from where they started the journey was also found.

The container that set off on July 22 from Serbia along the rivers, had travelled through Croatia, Egypt, Spain and Argentina before reaching Paraguay. The migrants had apparently hoped to get out some point along the trip, probably Croatia, the investigators said.

The bodies were recovered on Friday when the owners of the shipment opened them. Vernon Rempel Baerg, the vessel’s owner, said that they noticed a bad odor when they opened the shipment and they summoned the police.