Essex lorry deaths: Trafficking ringleader jailed for 15 years

Share

A court in Belgium has sentenced the ringleader of the gang who was responsible for the Essex lorry deaths to 15 years in prison today, 19 January. The court ruled that Vo Van Hong was in charge of a cross-Channel people trafficking operation based in Belgium.
Thirty-nine Vietnamese people, aged 15-44, were discovered suffocated at an industrial estate in Essex in 2019 and at least 15 of those people had passed through Hong’s network.
Hong was one of 23 people on trial in Belgium while, last year, four people were convicted of manslaughter over the Essex lorry deaths. The tragic incident highlighted how much people were willing to risk to make it to the UK and preceded the current ‘migrant crisis’.
The Belgian court said Hong was responsible for running a criminal organisation that had smuggled at least 115 people across the Channel between September 2018 and his arrest in May 2020. He had denied involvement, claiming that he was himself a victim of the gang.
All those placed on trial in Bruges were either Vietnamese themselves or Belgians of Vietnamese origin. Four were cleared by the court, while 19 were convicted. They were all accused of having input and playing a role before the fatal journey happened. Two other members of the gang were given lengthy sentences, including Nguyen Long, 46, described as the ringleader’s main lieutenant, according to AFP news agency. The court condemned the gang’s contempt for their victims’ human dignity and wellbeing.
“It’s clear that anyone who persists in engaging in this practice and pays no attention to the welfare of these people will be severely punished,” Luc Arnou, a lawyer for the victims’ families, told Belgian TV.
The British trial that ended a year ago at the Old Bailey in London convicted two lorry drivers and two other smugglers of manslaughter, while three others were jailed for involvement in the gang. In addition to the Belgian and British trials regarding the Essex lorry deaths, a court in Vietnam has handed out sentences and there are 26 suspects facing trial in France.


Thank you for taking the time to read this article, do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Claire Gordon



Recent Posts

  • Marbella News

San Bernabe Fair in Marbella will run from June 7 to12 this year

The traditional San Bernabe Fair in the Malaga city of Marbella will take place this…

40 mins ago
  • USA

FBI issues search and arrest warrant against Alejandro Cao de Benos

A search and arrest warrant has been issued against Spanish citizen Alejandro Cao de Benos…

2 hours ago
  • World News

Starbucks to leave Russia and permanently close its 130 coffee shops

Starbucks has announced its intention to exit Russia completely and close its 130 coffee shops.…

3 hours ago
  • Nerja News

Daniel Torres Trio to give concert at Nerja’s Ventana Abierta Jazz Club

The highly experienced musicians of the international Daniel Torres Trio will be playing a mix…

4 hours ago
  • Spain

Ukrainian refugee families robbed whilst sleeping in a Alicante host hotel

Police have arrested a 22 year old man after two rooms where Ukrainian refugee families…

4 hours ago
  • Quirky News

WATCH: Dog recognises grandmother even when she is disguised in this cute video

Pets have a wonderful way of showing their love for us, whether its their owner…

5 hours ago