Up to 25 of 39 migrants found dead in lorry may be from same farming community

By Mirror | Sunday, Oct 27th 2019 at 16:51
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Officials from several districts in the Nghe An Province have received missing person reports since the horrific discovery in a truck in Grays, Essex

Up to 25 of the 39 migrants found dead in an Essex lorry are believed to have come from the same region, local media claimed.

Families from Yen Thanh, a rural district of Nghe An Province, Vietnam, feared the worst after failing to contact their loved ones for days.

It is believed that the province is where many of the 39 victims found dead in the back of the refrigerated lorry started their journey.

Hoang Danh Truyen, vice chairman of People's Committee at Yen Thanh district, said that four families in this district suspected their children were among the 39, reported local media Thanh Nien.

Police said the 31 men and eight women were likely to be in one of the three lorry convoys where the other two have completed their journeys to some unknown investigation.

Father Anthony Dang Huu Nam has been collecting the identities of the victims of the suspect people smuggling venture gone wrong.

The youngest victim was said to be the 19-year-old Anna Bui Thi Nhung, who dreamed of working in a UK nail bar.

Her relatives gathered in the family's small courtyard home where her worried mother has been unable to contact her.

"She said she was in France and on the way to the UK, where she has friends and relatives," said Anna's cousin, Hoang Thi Linh.

"We are waiting and hoping it's not her among the victims, but it's very likely. We pray for her every day. There were two people from my village traveling in that group."

Neighbour Le Dinh Tuan said: "Many families in Yen Thanh have got rich from money sent back by their children working abroad."

Anna's relatives apparently paid an agent £8,000 for 'safe passage', according to Sun Online.

Family of another victim, Pham Thi Tra My, 26, said they received a harrowing message from her that said: "I love you so much. I'm dying because I can't see."

Pham's parents were left heartbroken as they explained how they were tricked to pay £30,000 for a 'VIP' trip.

Dad Pham Van Thin said they paid the fee to the 'Snakehead gang' as he added: "I've lost my loved one and my money.

"The smugglers said this was a safe way - by plane or car.

"If I'd known she would go by this route, I would not have let her go."

The third victim is thought to be 20-year-old Nguyen Din Luong.

Dad Nguyen Danh Gia said his son had been illegally staying in France but he heard that Din Luong planned to travel to Britain from France.

Mr Nguyen guessed his son was in the truck when the agent called him, saying: "Please have some sympathy, something unexpected happened."

Mr Nguyen told the media: "I fell to the ground when I heard that. He wanted to work hard in Britain and send money so his mother wouldn’t have to break her back on the rice farm.

"Now she has lost a son and all our hope is gone. The people who took our money must be punished."

In the nearby Do Thanh district, a father reported that he lost contact with his 30-year-old son, Le Van Ha, who paid £17,000 to go to Turkey, then Greece and to France before crossing the channel to the UK.

A Do Thanh commune official said a 19-year-old girl who 'escaped' to England also lost contact for five days and 26-year-old Nguyen Dinh Tu, who lost contact since Tuesday.

In Tho Thanh district, officials received a missing person report of 29-year-old Vo Van Nam. He last called on October 22 to his wife and told her that he was going to the UK.

His family failed to reach him since the news of 39 people found dead in the lorry.

Two families in the Dien Thinh commune were also waiting for information of their sons - Nguyen Van Hung, 33 and Hoang Van Tiep, 18.

Bui Huy Cuong, vice chairman of People's Committee at Can Loc district said they had received enquiries from eight families who were concerned of their children missing in the UK.

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