the driver charged, Vietnamese families fear for their loved ones

The driver is being prosecuted for manslaughter, human trafficking, illegal immigration and money laundering.

Time to Reading 3 min.

Several Vietnamese families fear that their children will be among the thirty-nine victims of the truck charnel found this week near London, whose driver has been indicted including trafficking in human beings. Arrested shortly after the discovery of the truck Wednesday in an industrial area about thirty kilometers from the British capital, Maurice Robinson, a native of Northern Ireland, is prosecuted for manslaughter, trafficking in human beings, aid for illegal immigration and money laundering, according to the British police. He must be brought to justice on Monday.

Three other people remained in custody on Saturday, including a couple. According to the British media, this is the last declared owner of the Scania truck used to tow the trailer where the victims were found, and her husband. According to the media, who interviewed the couple before the arrest, they denied any responsibility, claiming that they had sold the truck a year ago. A fifth person, a man in his twenties, was arrested on Saturday in Dublin, according to local police.

Long identification work

British investigators have started a long process to determine the identity of the victims. After initially indicating that they thought the thirty-one men and eight women found dead were Chinese nationals, doubts appeared. At least two families living in central Vietnam have expressed concern that their children, with fake Chinese passports, have perished in the refrigerated truck.

Nguyen Dinh Gia, the father of a 20-year-old Vietnamese boy, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Saturday that he received a cold call a few days ago announcing that his son had died trying to join the UK. An unknown interlocutor speaking in Vietnamese told him: "I beg your forgiveness, something unexpected happened. "I collapsed when I heard that" said Mr. Nguyen. "It seems like my son was in this truck. They are all dead. " According to Nguyen Dinh Gia, his son had told him two weeks ago of his plan to join Britain from France, where he had been living illegally since 2018.

AFP met another family on Saturday, living in a simple hut covered with corrugated iron in Nghe An, central Vietnam. She also fears that their daughter is among the victims found in the refrigerated truck. Pham Thi Tra, 26, sent a message on the phone to her mother explaining that she could not "More breathe", that she was " dying "said his brother.

"Criminals are taking more and more risks"

Both families are from the same region of Ha Tinh, a very poor part of Vietnam from which many migrants leave. They often seek to join Britain to work in nail bars or illegal cannabis farms, hoping to make quick money. Many pass through Russia or China, with false documents and this journey can cost them up to the equivalent of 36,000 euros, a fortune in Vietnam where the average income does not exceed 2,000 euros per year, according to the World Bank.

"It is clear that criminals, because it is a question of criminals, murderers, take more and more risks with these vulnerable people"Saturday, one of the British police chief, Martin Pasmore, said. An association of Vietnamese living in Britain, VietHome, has received photos of some twenty Vietnamese missing since the discovery of the truck. On Wednesday, the association says it has received messages informing them of the disappearance of people aged 15 to 45 years.

Read also The discovery of 39 dead bodies in a truck in the UK, macabre illustration of human trafficking

In a statement on Saturday, the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry said its embassy in London was working to "Speed ​​up the process of identifying victims. " The container carrying the migrants arrived by ferry at Purfleet Harbor, in the Thames Estuary, from Zeebrugge in Belgium an hour before the police went to the scene, called for help.


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