Dover lorry deaths
|Dover lorry deaths|
The Port of Dover in 2004
|Date||18 June 2000|
|Location||Dover, Kent, United Kingdom|
|Cause of death||Carbon monoxide poisoning, asphyxia|
Location in Britain
The Dutch lorry came from a ferry that had arrived from Zeebrugge in Belgium. It was selected for examination by officers from HM Customs & Excise who then called the police and ambulance service. It was determined that the deceased were illegal immigrants, and likely died of asphyxiation, though carbon monoxide poisoning was not ruled out. The 60 people were trapped in the container for more than 18 hours, when the outside temperature reached 32 °C (90 °F). The survivors were found closest to the doors.
It was confirmed by police that all the deceased were Chinese immigrants, 54 men and 4 women. The incident was one of the largest mass killings in British criminal history, and the largest involving illegal immigrants entering the United Kingdom, the second being Essex lorry deaths, where all 39 Vietnamese immigrants were found dead in a truck in Essex. The 60 Chinese had paid £20,000 each. They were flown from Beijing to Belgrade, then driven to Zeebrugge.
Investigation and prosecution
The trailer was owned by a newly formed Dutch haulage company, 'Van Der Spek Transporten', which had been registered days before the incident. A similarly named, legitimate, Dutch haulage company was not involved. The driver of the lorry was Perry Wacker, 33, of Rotterdam. Wacker was arrested at the scene and, in 2001, was sentenced to 14 years in prison for manslaughter for his part in an organised people smuggling operation, coordinated by a Chinese snakehead gang. He was also found guilty of conspiracy to facilitate the entry of illegal immigrants.
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- List of migrant vehicle incidents in Europe
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- Kelso, Paul (6 April 2001). "Driver of lorry in which 58 Chinese died gets 14 years". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
- Reid, Tim: 'They banged on the door and screamed in vain' 20 June 2000 The Irish Independent. Retrieved 29 October 2019
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- Warning over 'Snakehead' smuggling gangs as police try to identify 39 Chinese dead found in lorry 24 October 2019 telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 26 October 2019
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- "Dutch trucker found guilty in deaths of 58 Chinese immigrants". Arizona Daily Sun.