Teenager fleeing Dutch asylum shelter one of 39 dead in Essex lorry

UK news[1]

Youngster absconded from centre for vulnerable migrants in The Hague last month




The lorry, in an industrial park in Grays, in which 39 bodies were found.Photograph: Ray Tang/Rex/Shutterstock

A teenager who was among 39 migrants whose bodies were discovered in a refrigerated lorry container in Essex last month had gone missing from an asylum centre in the Netherlands, it has emerged. The country’s Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) told local media the youngster absconded from a shelter for vulnerable migrants. The agency in The Hague did not give details about the name or age of the teenager.

Ten teenagers, including two 15-year-old boys, were among 39 Vietnamese nationals found in the trailer in an industrial park in Grays on 23 October, shortly after the lorry arrived on a ferry from Zeebrugge in Belgium. Last week it emerged that relatives of the migrants found dead were told that neither the British nor Vietnamese governments will bear the costs of repatriating the bodies. Bui Huy Cuong, the deputy chair of Can Loc district’s people’s committee in Ha Tinh province, where 10 of the victims were from, said officials in the region had received instructions from Vietnam’s foreign ministry to inform families that neither government would do so.

He said the Vietnamese government was offering to pay only the costs of bringing the bodies “home from the airport”. The driver of the lorry, Mo Robinson, 25, from Northern Ireland, has appeared in court charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and money laundering, and is expected to appear at the Old Bailey on Monday. Extradition proceedings have also been launched in Ireland to bring Eamonn Harrison, 22, from Mayobridge in Newry, County Down, to the UK.

Harrison appeared at the central criminal court in Dublin on Thursday after he was arrested on a European arrest warrant in respect of 39 counts of manslaughter, one count of human trafficking and one count of assisting unlawful immigration. A 23-year-old man from Northern Ireland was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to traffic people and conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration in the early hours of Friday morning on the M40. Detectives have also urged Ronan Hughes, 40, and his brother Christopher, 34, from Armagh, Northern Ireland, to hand themselves in.

They are wanted on suspicion of manslaughter and human trafficking.

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