AFP or licensors

Container of Death: Belgium sends detectives to the UK

Belgium has dispatched detectives to the UK to help in the investigation into the deaths of 39 people in a refrigerated lorry that travelled from the port of Zeebrugge in Belgium. Belgian and English police are eager to pool information.

The bodies are those of people who had hoped to make a new life in the UK but didn’t have the right paperwork to enter the country legally.  Most of those killed are believed to be Vietnamese.  Twenty-four families think their children are among the victims.

It remains unclear where the migrants were put into the container by people-traffickers.  The two drivers, who drove the container, have been arrested.  Three other suspects have been bailed.

Belgian detectives will leave for England in the course of the week.  Belgian prosecutors say that from the outset there has been an exchange of information. Prosecutor Eric Van der Sypt: “Now we hope to collect as much evidence and indications as possible that point to Belgium or a neighbouring country.”

Detectives hope to establish the location where people traffickers put the victims in the container.

“We know what route the lorry took but are not divulging this at the minute. It’s an important element in the investigation.  We will have to establish when and where the victims got into the container. That may have been in Belgium, but may have been earlier on the route.  It’s not unusual that people stay on a lorry for days.”