Belgian court jails human trafficker for truck deaths of migrants

A Belgian court sentenced a Vietnamese man to 15 years in prison on Wednesday after convicting him of being the ringleader of the trade of 39 migrants found dead in a truck.

Vo Van Hong, 45, was found guilty of leading an operation for human trafficking across canals that has been linked to a truck that was found full of corpses in an English industrial area in October 2019.

At least 15 of the 39 dead had passed through the Belgian-based human trafficking network, which operated two safe houses in the Anderlecht district of Brussels for migrants on their way to Britain.

The 2019 discovery at Grays Industrial Park east of London was one of the worst involved migrants in recent years.

The victims, 31 men and eight women between the ages of 15 and 44, were all Vietnamese, died of suffocation and hyperthermia in the cramped space of the truck, which arrived by ferry from Zeebrugge.

Several suspects have already been convicted and imprisoned in the UK and Vietnam in connection with the case. In France, another 26 have been prosecuted and brought to justice.

In Belgium, Vo was one of 23 suspects – both Belgians and Vietnamese – who were brought to justice after a police operation in May 2020 where several addresses, most in the Brussels region, were raided and Vietnamese suspected of links to the gang were collected. .

Most of the accused are said to have been members of the human trafficking ring. The rest must have been accomplices, used as security guards, food traders for the migrants or drivers.

The prosecutor said that the “very well-organized” gang specialized in secretly transporting people to Europe and then the UK for a total fee of 24,000 euros (27,000 USD) per person.


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