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Dying to get in: 39 bodies of migrants found in refrigerated container

PortandTerminal.com, October 23, 2019

British police launched one of the country’s biggest ever murder investigations on Wednesday after 39 bodies were found inside a refrigerated tractor-trailer container in southeast England

ESSEX, ENGLAND – 39 bodies of migrants trying to illegally enter the UK were found in a refrigerated container on the back of a truck in England.

Police believe that the truck originated in Bulgaria. The police are also reporting that the trailer arrived via ferry from Zeebrugge, Belgium, into Purfleet on the River Thames.

The police have said that the trailer has been moved to a secure location where the bodies of those inside – a teenager and 38 adults – can be recovered.

One man, the driver of the truck, has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

The driver, named locally as Mo Robinson, 25, from Portadown, County Armagh, Northern Ireland, has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Desperate migrants risking their lives

Authorities in the UK have seen a rise in the number of migrants using “clandestine” methods like containers and refrigerated trucks to illegally enter the UK over the last 12 months.

The UK is not alone. People losing their lives while trying to unlawfully enter European countries in truck containers and by other means has happened many times before.

Earlier this year, four human traffickers were jailed for life by a Hungarian court after the bodies of 71 migrants were discovered in the back of an abandoned truck in Austria, according to Reuters.

The bodies of Salvadoran migrant Oscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his nearly 2-year-old daughter Valeria lie on the bank of the Rio Grande in Matamoros, Mexico, Monday, June 24, 2019, after they drowned trying to cross the river to Brownsville, Texas

America is also a prime destination for illegal migrants, desperate to enter into the country by any means available. According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 7,216 people have died crossing the U.S–Mexico border between 1998 and 2017.

The International Organization for Migration says the number of migrant deaths in the Americas in 2019 has passed 500. Almost half of the deaths were recorded at the US-Mexican border.

IOM spokesman Joel Millman said that the “turmoil” in Venezuela may account for “much of 2019’s fatality surge.”

More than 4 million people have left Venezuela since 2015.

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