Hunt for second lorry driver who was caught on CCTV dropping off container in Zeebrugge

Hunt for second lorry driver who was caught on CCTV dropping off container in Belgium with 39 doomed migrants inside before it was loaded onto ferry – as four are held

  • Cameras at the port in Belgium caught the hauler ten times at the Zeebrugge site
  • One Belgian official said that they ‘hope they catch’ the driver of the container
  • Development could reveal who transported the  39 migrants across Europe

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Police in Belgium have obtained CCTV footage of the haulier who transported the 39 migrants in a freezing container to the UK, after he was filmed ten times at the Zeebrugge site.

Cameras at the port terminal in Belgium snapped the vehicle as it went through the security port terminal, carrying 31 men and eight women.

The terminal is managed by Luxembourg-based company C.RO which is believed to have handed footage to police – a development which could reveal who transported the migrants on the continental part of their ill-fated journey.

It comes as the owners of the of the lorry carrying 39 migrants who froze to death were arrested today after police swooped on their GBP400,000 Cheshire home. 

Joanna Maher, 38, and her husband Thomas (pictured above) have been held on suspicion to traffic people 

Hunt for second lorry driver who was caught on CCTV dropping off container in Zeebrugge

Officials in Belgium have now claimed that they have CCTV of the haulier arriving at the port in Zeebrugge (pictured above) 

Hunt for second lorry driver who was caught on CCTV dropping off container in Zeebrugge

Police were seen leaving the property in Warrington on Friday carrying boxes of evidence 

Joanna Maher, 38, and her husband Thomas, also 38, from Warrington, are understood to have been held on suspicion of conspiracy to traffic people and on suspicion of 39 counts of manslaughter.  

The Maher’s had previously told MailOnline they sold the lorry cab a year ago to a company in Ireland – but police officers investigating the tragedy raided their property today before searching the couple’s beauty salon around the corner, New Hair Don’t Care.

The trailer carrying the 39 frozen trafficking victims is believed to be owned by a rental firm in Dublin.

The refrigerated unit arrived in Zeebrugge at 2.49pm on Tuesday before being placed on a ferry which got to Purfleet, Essex at 1am on the Wednesday morning. It was then picked up by Maurice ‘Mo Robinson’ who has since been arrested in connection with the investigation.

Hunt for second lorry driver who was caught on CCTV dropping off container in Zeebrugge

In order to pass through the port (above) hauliers need to produce a waybill on arrival

According to The Times, police are now focusing their attentions on the driver who delivered the container to the Belgium port and the CCTV footage may be able to identify them.

Dutch language newspaper Het Nieuwsblad quoted one source, thought to have been a Belgium official as saying: ‘We hope to catch him soon. His truck was filmed ten times at the port site’. 

The driver who delivered the unit is thought to have dismissed normal protocol and failed to identify himself, or provide a waybill upon arrival at the port.

A waybill is a document obtained by hauliers which shows their contract with the shipping firm they have an agreement with. 

Hunt for second lorry driver who was caught on CCTV dropping off container in Zeebrugge

The revelation raises security questions about ports across Europe. Zeebrugge is pictured above)

Hunt for second lorry driver who was caught on CCTV dropping off container in Zeebrugge

The migrants are have believed to have started their journey in China before making their way to Europe 

It raises questions about the security of ports across Europe, as the UK are believed to have sent equipment to terminals such as Zeebrugge in order to thwart people smuggling.

Speaking last night a Belgian police officer said there were 4,000 lorries and containers that go through Zeebrugge every day without being seen on camera, and claimed that migrants placed in containers regularly got through to the UK.

He added that smugglers put migrants in lorries in places such as Germany and Luxembourg before getting them across to the UK.

In response to this Zeebrugge port said that it had put sniffer dogs and detection devices in place to spot body heat on lorry trailers, however they claimed that this did not work on refrigerated units.

The units are thought to undergo a ‘camera check’ by guards to see if plastic seals have been broken, if this is the case, officers are then alerted.

Commenting on the developments, Belgian politician Franky Demon told The Times that the question for officials in Belgiam is whether or not the country is lagging behind in terms of technology.

‘Have they found a back door for their smuggling with transport via refrigerated containers?’ 

This latest development comes as a 48-year-old man from Northern Ireland was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to traffic people and suspicion of manslaughter.

This brings the charge list to four, after Warrington couple Joanna Maher and her husband Thomas have been held on suspicion of conspiracy to traffic people and on suspicion of 39 counts of manslaughter.

Hunt for second lorry driver who was caught on CCTV dropping off container in Zeebrugge Hunt for second lorry driver who was caught on CCTV dropping off container in Zeebrugge

Police were given an extra 24 hours to to question Mo Robinson (left and right) after he was arrested on suspicion of murder

Lorry driver Maurice ‘Mo’ Robinson was also charged on suspicion of murder and police were also given extra time to quiz the 25-year-old.

On Friday it was also revealed that six of the possible victims may have been Vietnamese. 

A woman named Pham Thi Tra My had text her family as she died on the container, messaging her mother and telling her she couldn’t breathe.

This is while the family of a 20-year-old man named Nguyen Dinh Luong, who was travelling from Vietnam to France, has also not been heard from in days. 

Hunt for second lorry driver who was caught on CCTV dropping off container in Zeebrugge Hunt for second lorry driver who was caught on CCTV dropping off container in Zeebrugge

Pham Thi Tra My (left) had text her mother whilst taking the journey to the UK.

The family of Nguyen Dinh Luong (right) are also concerned for his safety 

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