Migrants found alive in refrigerated lorry in Belgium

Less than a week after 39 bodies were found in the back of a refrigerated lorry in Essex, 12 migrants have been found alive in the back of a refrigerated lorry at a port in Belgium.

Local media reported a group of men had crawled into the back of the vehicle near Antwerp on Tuesday, prompting the driver to contact police.

A spokesperson for the Belgian federal police said traffic officers had then checked the lorry, which was carrying fruit and vegetables, and found 11 Syrians and one Sudanese man, PA reports.

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They were taken to a police office in Antwerp and are now being dealt with by immigration officials.

The discovery comes amid heightened concerns over people smuggling into the UK, following the discovery of the 39 bodies in the back of a refrigerated lorry in Grays, Essex last Wednesday.

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rightCreated with Sketch.


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Thirty-nine bodies have been found in a lorry container in Essex, police have said

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The discovery of 38 adults and one teenager was made at an industrial estate in Thurrock

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Police said they believed the lorry had come from Bulgaria and entered the UK at Holyhead, in Wales, on Saturday. Getty

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Essex Police said it had launched a murder investigation after its officers were called to Waterglade Industrial Park, in Grays, in the early hours of Wednesday morning

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A 25-year-old-man from Northern Ireland has been arrested on suspicion of murder

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In a statement, Chief Superintendent Andrew Mariner said: “This is a tragic incident where a large number of people have lost their lives.

Our enquiries are ongoing to establish what has happened.”We are in the process of identifying the victims, however I anticipate that this could be a lengthy process. Reuter TV

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Thirty-nine bodies have been found in a lorry container in Essex, police have said

PA

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The discovery of 38 adults and one teenager was made at an industrial estate in Thurrock

Reuter TV

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Police said they believed the lorry had come from Bulgaria and entered the UK at Holyhead, in Wales, on Saturday.

Getty

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Essex Police said it had launched a murder investigation after its officers were called to Waterglade Industrial Park, in Grays, in the early hours of Wednesday morning

Reuter TV

5/15

A 25-year-old-man from Northern Ireland has been arrested on suspicion of murder

PA

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In a statement, Chief Superintendent Andrew Mariner said: “This is a tragic incident where a large number of people have lost their lives. Our enquiries are ongoing to establish what has happened.”We are in the process of identifying the victims, however I anticipate that this could be a lengthy process.

Reuter TV

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It is not yet known when the 39 victims entered the trailer, but it arrived at Zeebrugge in Belgium on 22 October, and reached Purfleet in Essex at around 12.30am the following day.

Just over an hour later, police were called to the Waterglade Industrial Park on Eastern Avenue in Grays where the bodies of 31 men and eight women had been discovered.

Maurice Robinson, 25, of Craigavon, Northern Ireland, appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on Monday charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and money laundering.

Essex Police are also looking for Ronan Hughes, 40, and his brother Christopher, 34, both from Armagh in Northern Ireland, who are suspected of manslaughter and human trafficking.

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Police have said they believe the brothers are in Northern Ireland, but said they also used a business address in the Republic of Ireland.

The discovery of the group of 12 migrants also comes as a further 28 people were arrested in Antwerp in the early hours of Tuesday morning, amid a clampdown on illegal immigration and people trafficking. 

Of the 28, one is from Ethiopia, seven are from Sudan and 10 are from Eritrea.

Of the group, 11 of them said they are minors, The Brussels Times reports.

Additional reporting by PA

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