Vietnamese truck deaths: UK finds two men guilty of manslaughter

The deaths shone a spotlight on the illicit global trade that sends the poor of Asia, Africa and the Middle East on perilous journeys to the West.
The deaths shone a spotlight on the illicit global trade that sends the poor of Asia, Africa and the Middle East on perilous journeys to the West.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - Two men were found guilty of the manslaughter of 39 men, women and children from Vietnam after they were found dead in the back of a refrigerated truck near London last year.

The deaths shocked Britain and Vietnam and shone a spotlight on the illicit global trade that sends the poor of Asia, Africa and the Middle East on perilous journeys to the West.

Eamonn Harrison, a 24-year-old lorry driver from Northern Ireland, was found guilty of 39 counts of manslaughter and one count of conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration.

Gheorghe Nica, 43, from Essex in south-east England, was found guilty of the same charges. Two others had already pleaded guilty to being involved in the deaths.

Most of those who died, aged between 15 and 44, were from Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces in north-central Vietnam, where poor job prospects, environmental disasters and the promise of financial reward abroad fuel migration.