44 C
Kuwait City
July 2, 2020
Home » Man charged over UK lorry deaths
Gulf Times

Man charged over UK lorry deaths

British police investigating the deaths of 39 people in a refrigerated truck charged the driver yesterday with manslaughter and people trafficking, as families in Vietnam expressed fear their loved ones were among the dead.
Maurice Robinson was arrested shortly after the bodies of eight women and 31 men were discovered in the truck in an industrial zone in Grays in Essex, southeast England.
The 25-year-old from Northern Ireland was “charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and money laundering”, Essex police said.
Three more people are in custody in Britain over the investigation, the country’s largest murder probe since the 2005 London suicide bombings.
A Northern Irish man was also arrested in Dublin yesterday.
Police initially said that the victims – believed to have arrived on a ferry from the Belgian port of Zeebrugge – were Chinese, but retracted this and now many are feared to be Vietnamese.
Vietnam’s ambassador, Tran Ngoc An, visited police investigating the case yesterday and also spoke on the phone to British interior minister Priti Patel, the embassy said.
In Vietnam, several families told AFP yesterday that their relatives had gone missing on route to Britain, a prime destination for migrants seeking better lives abroad.
All the families come from impoverished and remote corners of central Vietnam, a hotspot for people willing to embark on dangerous journeys in the hope of striking it rich abroad.
Many are smuggled illegally through Russia or China, often owing tens of thousands of dollars to their traffickers and carrying falsified documents, and end up working off the books on cannabis farms or in nail salons.
Britain-based community group VietHome said that it had received photographs “of nearly 20 people reported missing, age 15-45” from Vietnam.
Migrants can pay smugglers up to $40,000 for the dangerous journey, an enormous sum in Vietnam, where the annual per capital income is around $2,400, according to the World Bank.
Hundreds of Vietnamese nationals are trafficked to Britain each year, according to the charity Ecpat.
They are forced to work in slavery-like conditions.
The truck’s driver is due in court tomorrow.
Among the suspects still in custody is a 38-year-old woman reported to be the registered owner of the truck, and her husband, also 38.
They denied any involvement, according to media reports.
“We’ve got to be realistic. We know that … we have people coming into the country, either being trafficked or as asylum-seekers,” British police Detective Chief Inspector Martin Pasmore told reporters earlier.
“It must be clear that criminals – and that’s what we’re dealing with, criminals, murderers – are taking more and more chances with these vulnerable people,” he added.
He appealed to the Vietnamese community in Britain for information, saying that his force would take no action against anyone here illegally who came forward to claim a friend or relative.
Pasmore said he had discussed with Vietnam’s ambassador how to fast-track the process of fingerprint identification and DNA testing, but said identification would take time.
He added that while investigators are working on the assumption that the victims were Vietnamese nationals, but that “there may be other nationalities involved”.
All of the bodies have now been moved from the truck in Tilbury Docks to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford for post-mortem examinations.

Source link
Click here to read more news from @gulf-times

Related posts

QSE call for mandatory ESG regime seen luring global investors

Gulf Times

Three dead in Chile protest violence

Gulf Times

Turkey and Russia to discuss removal of Kurdish militia from Syrian towns

Gulf Times

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Please spend a minute

Gulflance Poll

Which is worst social media?
Vote Now

You're currently offline