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Leader of human trafficking gang jailed — RT World News

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Leader of human trafficking gang jailed — RT World News

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A Belgian court has sentenced a Vietnamese man who led a human trafficking gang to 15 years in prison, after 39 migrants he smuggled to Britain were found dead in an airtight shipping container on a truck.

Vo Van Hong, 45, was found guilty on Wednesday of being the ringleader of the cross-Channel human trafficking operation. In addition to his prison sentence, the court in Bruges also ordered him to pay a fine of €920,000 ($1.04 million). He also sentenced 17 other members of the gang to terms ranging from 18 months to 10 years for their involvement in human trafficking.

Some of the convicts had authorized the use of their properties as meeting points for migrants, organized documents for the victims or acted as intermediaries. Six taxi drivers who took migrants to meeting points were also convicted.

In the 234-page decision, the judges noted that the criminals dehumanized the victims and charged them at least €24,000 ($27,000) for the trips.


Leader of human trafficking gang jailed — RT World News

 | Breaking News Updates

Hong’s conviction was linked to the discovery of 39 bodies found in a shipping container on an industrial estate east of London in 2019. The victims – 31 men and eight women – were all Vietnamese, the two youngest n being only 15 years old.

The migrants died of suffocation and hyperthermia in the container, which arrived on a ferry from the Belgian port of Zeebrugge. Most of the dead were from Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces in north-central Vietnam, Reuters reported.

Last year, a UK court also convicted four suspects in connection with the 39 deaths, sentencing them to prison terms ranging from 13 to 27 years.

Vo Van Hong was one of 23 suspects arrested and tried in Belgium after a police raid on multiple addresses in May 2020.

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Leader of human trafficking gang jailed — RT World News

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