"Give them air quickly don't let them out"

Two men have been found guilty of the manslaughter of 39 Vietnamese migrants according to the BBC.

Ronan Hughes, 41 and lorry driver Maurice Robinson, 26, admitted to the manslaughter of 39 Vietnamese migrants who were found dead in a lorry trailer in Essex in October 2019.

On Monday, Eamonn Harrison, 24 and Gheorghe Nica, 43, were convicted by an Old Bailey jury.

Harrison dropped off the trailer at the Belgian port and Nica was in charge of people smuggling.

Each migrant paid £13,000 to be smuggled into the UK as part of a ‘VIP’ package.

Sealed inside the trailer for 12 hours, the men, women and children, aged 15 to 44, suffocated as temperatures reached “unbearable” 38.5C.

Robinson called Hughes and Nica before dialling 999 some 23 minutes after discovering the bodies.

When Robinson discovered the bodies after collecting the trailer in Essex, Hughes messaged him saying, “give them air quickly, don’t let them out.”

Mobile phone messages sent from the victims to their loved ones included “I cannot breathe. I’m sorry, I have to go now.”

Father Nguyen Tho Tuan sent a message to his children saying, “I’m sorry. I cannot take care of you. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I cannot breathe.”

Harrison claimed he was unaware that there were people in the trailer, telling jurors he thought he was dealing with “stolen goods.”

The 23-year-old claimed he was watching Netflix in bed at the time the trailer was being loaded on 22 October.

Detective Chief Inspector Daniel Stoten, of Essex Police, described the gang as “greedy” but “complacent”.

“You would not transport animals in that way but they were quite happy to do that and put them at significant risk.”

“They are callous and they are dangerous and they are out to exploit these people.

“We wouldn’t transport animals in that way.”

Matthew Long, deputy director of National Crime Agency, said, “there is no VIP service – these are the lies people are told to be exploited.”

“And finding out at the very last minute, and realising as you die, that the VIP service was a terrible lie, is exactly what you see from these organised crime groups. ”

Prosecutors are now considering charges against a further three people.

The maximum sentence for people-smuggling is 14 years in prison with manslaughter carrying a possible life sentence.

The 39 victims are:

  • Pham Thi Tra My, a 26-year-old woman from Ha Tinh
  • Nguyen Dinh Luong, a 20-year-old man from Ha Tinh
  • Nguyen Huy Phong, a 35-year-old man from Ha Tinh
  • Vo Nhan Du, a 19-year-old man from Ha Tinh
  • Tran Manh Hung, a 37-year-old man from Ha Tinh
  • Tran Khanh Tho, a 18-year-old man from Ha Tinh
  • Vo Van Linh, a 25-year-old man from Ha Tinh
  • Nguyen Van Nhan, a 33-year-old man from Ha Tinh
  • Bui Phan Thang, a 37-year-old man from Ha Tinh
  • Nguyen Huy Hung, a 15-year-old boy from Ha Tinh
  • Tran Thi Tho, a 21-year-old woman from Nghe An
  • Bui Thi Nhung, a 19-year-old woman from Nghe An
  • Vo Ngoc Nam, a 28-year-old man from Nghe An
  • Nguyen Dinh Tu, a 26-year-old man from Nghe An
  • Le Van Ha, a 30-year-old man from Nghe An
  • Tran Thi Ngoc, a 19-year-old woman from Nghe An
  • Nguyen Van Hung, a 33-year-old man from Nghe An
  • Hoang Van Tiep, a 18-year-old man from Nghe An
  • Cao Tien Dung, a 37-year-old man from Nghe An
  • Cao Huy Thanh, a 37-year-old man from Nghe An
  • Tran Thi Mai Nhung, a 18-year-old woman from Nghe An
  • Nguyen Minh Quang, a 20-year-old man from Nghe An
  • Le Ngoc Thanh, a 44-year-old man from Dien Chau
  • Pham Thi Ngoc Oanh, a 28-year-old woman from Nghe An
  • Hoang Van Hoi, a 24-year-old man from Nghe An
  • Nguyen Tho Tuan, a 25-year-old man from Nghe An
  • Dang Huu Tuyen, a 22-year-old man from Nghe An
  • Nguyen Trong Thai, a 26-year-old man from Nghe An
  • Nguyen Van Hiep, a 24-year-old man from Nghe An
  • Nguyen Thi Van, a 35-year-old woman from Nghe An
  • Tran Hai Loc, a 35-year-old man from Nghe An
  • Duong Minh Tuan, a 27-year-old man from Quang Binh
  • Nguyen Ngoc Ha, a 32-year-old man from Quang Binh
  • Nguyen Tien Dung, a 33-year-old man from Quang, Binh
  • Phan Thi Thanh, a 41-year-old woman from Hai Phong
  • Nguyen Ba Vu Hung, a 34-year-old man from Thua Thien-Hue
  • Dinh Dinh Thai Quyen, a 18-year-old man from Hai Phong
  • Tran Ngoc Hieu, a 17-year-old boy from Hai Duong
  • Dinh Dinh Binh, a 15-year-old boy from Hai Phong

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