In October, a refrigerated truck was found with 39 bodies inside in England. On Tuesday, 26 people were arrested in France and in Belgium.
Accommodation providers, taxi drivers and an alleged organizer of the migrant smuggling network: nearly thirty people were arrested this week in France, Belgium and Germany, and brought to justice as part of a investigation into the death of 39 Vietnamese migrants in a refrigerated truck in October 2019 in England.
A man suspected of being the organizer of the Vietnamese migrant smuggling network that had brought the refrigerated truck in England in which 39 people were found dead in October was arrested on Wednesday in Germany, it was learned Friday from concordant sources.
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This man was arrested across the Rhine as part of a European arrest warrant issued by France, according to several sources close to the investigation. Twenty-six people were also arrested Tuesday in France and Belgium as part of these investigations.
Nicknamed “Duke the Bald”, this 29-year-old man was targeted by a European arrest warrant issued by France, according to these sources. He “could be the head of the network on the French side,” one of them told AFP.
Trafficking in human beings
In France, the thirteen people arrested Tuesday were Friday evening still being presented to justice for their indictment and their placement in pre-trial detention. The thirteen other suspects, arrested simultaneously in Belgium on Tuesday, have already been indicted by the investigating judge in Bruges responsible for the file, the time to appear there is shorter than in France.
Among the latter, eleven were imprisoned after being charged with “trafficking in human beings with aggravating circumstances, membership of a criminal and false organization and use of false documents”, according to the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office. Two other people, charged with the same charges, were released.
On 23 October, the corpses of 31 men and eight women of Vietnamese nationality, including two 15-year-old adolescents, were discovered aboard a container in the Grays industrial area, east of London. The container came from the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.
Due to its geographical location, Belgium is often used as a rear base by traffickers seeking to monetize the passage of illegal immigrants to Great Britain, considered as an El Dorado, in particular for the flexibility of its labor market. The drama had provoked strong emotion and highlighted the highly organized clandestine migratory routes between Vietnam and Europe.