Mass grave truck in England: a trial ordered in Paris for 19 suspects

19 people will be tried before a criminal court in Paris in the investigation into the death of 39 migrants found asphyxiated in a truck trailer in England in 2019, Franceinfo learned on Wednesday May 24 from a judicial source, confirming information from the Parisian.

>>> The journey to death of 39 Vietnamese in a refrigerated truck, in 2019: “I beg your pardon, mom and dad, I can’t breathe

Among these 19 men indicted in this investigation in France, 6 are in pre-trial detention, 11 under judicial control and two are on the run. They are prosecuted for “assistance with the illegal entry and stay of a foreigner in France in an organized gang” (an offense resulting in 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of 150,000 euros), and for “association of criminals with a view to the commission of offenses punishable by 10 years’ imprisonment“, namely the offense of “assistance with illegal entry and stay in an organized gang“(an offense punishable by 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of 150,000 euros).

A partial dismissal was pronounced on the offenses of “organized human trafficking“, in accordance with the requisitions of the prosecution, the investigation having not made it possible to demonstrate the intention by the smugglers to exploit the victims their bodies or their work once they have arrived at their destination, specifies the judicial source.

A misdemeanor punishable by 5 years imprisonment

Four of the defendants will also be tried for “manslaughter” of 39 Vietnamese nationals, by “manifestly deliberate breach of a particular duty of care or safety imposed by law or regulation“. The suspects participated in the organization of their passage from France to the United Kingdom, by making them cross the Channel with several people in a closed trailer used for the transport of goods. This offense is punishable by 5 years of imprisonment and a fine of 7,500 euros.

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On October 23, 2019, 39 Vietnamese were found lying, crammed into a refrigerated truck in Essex, east of London. They had boarded the day before, near Dunkirk before the truck embarked in Zeebrugge in Belgium. These eight women and thirty-one men – including several minors – died of heat and asphyxiation, because the cooling system had been inactivated and there was no ventilation.

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