A group of 39 Vietnamese citizens, including children, lost their lives in an articulated refrigerator truck in Essex, the UK in October 2019.
Alexandru-Ovidiu Hanga, 29, conspirator of the human smuggling gang linked to the deaths of 39 Vietnamese people in October 2019 has been ordered to pay bereaved families GBP3,000 (US$4,130).
The Romanian man in Essex who conspired the unlawful immigration had benefited £83,000 from his "criminal lifestyle", British media cited a court held in the UK last weekend.
He collected a number of migrants from a drop-off point in Essex and drove them to a safe house in Dulwich, southeast London, a few weeks before the tragedy.
However, prosecutor Jonathan Polnay said the available amount was just £3,000. In his sentencing, Justice Sweeney noted Hanga had shown "genuine remorse."
He applied for the money to be confiscated under the Proceeds of Crime Act and that it be used to pay compensation to the victims' families for funeral expenses and bereavement. He was jailed for three years for involving in the unlawful immigration between May 2018 and October 2019.
The court also set dates for further hearings later in the year in relation to other defendants.
|The truck that the bodies were found inside. Photo: Reuters/VNA|
In January 2021, lorry driver Robinson, 26, of Craigavon, who admitted manslaughter and plotting to people smuggling, was jailed for 13 years and four months.
His boss Ronan Hughes, 41, of Armagh, who also admitted the charges, was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Hughes's partner in crime Nica, 43, of Basildon, Essex, who was found guilty of the same offences, was handed 27 years behind bars.
Trucker Eamonn Harrison, 24, of County Down, who had collected the victims on the continent, received 18 years' custody for the manslaughter.
Fellow driver Christopher Kennedy, 24, of County Armagh, was jailed for seven years for his role in the wider people-smuggling operation.
On October 22, 2019, a group of 39 Vietnamese migrants who are women, men, and children were found dead in a refrigerated truck in Essex, the UK.
More than a month after the tragedy, the repatriation of all the victims was completed.
On November 20, 2019, Pope Francis offered prayers for 39 Vietnamese migrants and strongly protested human trafficking.
"Finally, together with you, I entrust to the Lord, the merciful father, the 39 Vietnamese migrants who died in England last month. It was heartbreaking; let us all pray for them," the pope said in a video message released November 20 by the Vatican.
The pope said in Vietnamese culture, the word "home" includes "everything that is most dear in the hearts of a person, not only family and relatives but also one's birthplace and homeland."
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