02/21/2020, 13.21
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Vietnam charges seven in connection with Essex lorry deaths

The accused assisted the illegal immigration of 67 people to the UK and Europe. On 23 October, British authorities found the bodies of 39 people in a refrigerated lorry.

Hanoi (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Vietnamese police have charged seven people in connection with the death of 39 Vietnamese migrants in the United Kingdom.

On 23 October 2019, British authorities found their bodies in the trailer of an articulated refrigerator lorry in Essex, east of London.

The victims, including two 15-year-old boys, hailed mainly from two provinces of north-central Vietnam, where poor job prospects, debts, and persecution are driving young people to migrate, illegally if need be.

Last night, seven individuals, including a Vietnamese woman living in China, were charged with creating immigration profiles for 67 people from different parts of Vietnam to encourage illegal work in the UK and Europe, Hà Tĩnh regional police said in a statement.

Police cited the case of 26-year-old Phạm Thị Trà My (picture 2), one of the victims found in the lorry.

“They contacted the victim in late June 2019 and charged her US,000 to create immigration profiles," the statement said. "The victim in September was then taken to China, France and the UK.”

Police explained that their investigation would be expanded, but did not give details on any court appearance by those charged.

Prosecutors are also at work in Europe. On 9 February, British police arrested a 22-year-old man from Northern Ireland on charges of manslaughter and aiding illegal immigration.

Gheorghe Nica, 43, from Essex, was arrested at Frankfurt airport (Germany) on 29 January under a European arrest warrant. He is accused of the manslaughter of 39 people.

Lorry driver Maurice Robinson, 25, from Craigavon​​ (Northern Ireland), is awaiting trial on the same charges.

Britain is also waiting for the extradition of a second Northern Irish truck driver, 23-year-old Eamonn Harrison, from the Republic of Ireland.

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