UK truck deaths: Six arrested, one wanted for human smuggling

By Duc Hung   February 20, 2020 | 06:35 am PT
UK truck deaths: Six arrested, one wanted for human smuggling
Tran Dinh Truong, 35, at a police station in Ha Tinh Province, central Vietnam, February 20, 2020. Photo courtesy of Ha Tinh Police.
Ha Tinh Police in central Vietnam have arrested six people in the investigation into the death of 39 Vietnamese citizens in the U.K. last year.

They said Thursday that Tran Dinh Truong, 35, Nguyen Thi Huy Hoa, 36, Vo Van Ky, 58, Vo Van Ho, 68, Le Van Hue, 53, Nguyen Quoc Thanh, 26, and Nguyen Thi Thuy Diem, 30, had created immigration profiles for over 60 people from many Vietnam localities for illegal work in the U.K. and Europe.

Diem, who currently lives in China, is internationally wanted. The rest have been arrested by Ha Tinh police.

Truong contacted Hoa and Diem last June to create immigration profiles for 26-year-old Pham Thi Tra My, one of the 39 killed, to go to the U.K. She was taken to China and then France for $22,000 – for which Truong got $1,000 and the rest was received by Hoa and Diem, the police said.

On her way from France to the U.K., My and 38 other Vietnamese succumbed to hypoxia and hyperthermia inside a refrigerated container truck they were taken in.

My's last text messages to her mother broke hearts from around the globe.

Part of it, quoted by many news agencies, read: "I'm sorry Mum. My journey abroad hasn't succeeded. Mum, I love you so much! I'm dying because I can't breathe ... I'm from Nghen, Can Loc, Ha Tinh, Vietnam ... I am sorry, Mum."

Her and the other bodies were found in the U.K.’s Essex County, northeast of London, on October 24 last year. The two youngest victims were 15 and the oldest 44.

Of the victims, 10 were from Ha Tinh, 21 from neighboring Nghe An, and the rest from Quang Binh, Thua Thien-Hue, Hai Duong and Hai Phong. Their remains were returned to Vietnam last November.

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