We tried to talk her out of trav­el­ling – vic­tim’s family

Po­lice: One due in court and three bailed after mi­grants found dead in lorry

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS -

The family of a young Viet­namese woman thought to be among the 39 mi­grants found dead in a lorry in Es­sex said she dis­missed their pleas not to travel.

Pham Tra My, 26, has not been in con­tact with her family since send­ing a fi­nal text mes­sage home on Tues­day say­ing she could not breathe.

Po­lice later found the bod­ies of eight women and 31 men in the re­frig­er­ated trailer of a lorry on an in­dus­trial es­tate in Grays, Es­sex, in the early hours of Wed­nes­day.

The lorry driver, 25-year-old Mau­rice “Mo”

“If I had known she would go by this route I would not have let her”

Robin­son, from North­ern Ire­land, is due to ap­pear in court to­day charged with 39 counts of man­slaugh­ter, con­spir­acy to traf­fic peo­ple, con­spir­acy to as­sist un­law­ful im­mi­gra­tion and money laun­der­ing.

Three other peo­ple ar­rested in con­nec­tion with the deaths have been re­leased on bail, Es­sex Po­lice said yes­ter­day.

Rel­a­tives of Ms Tra My told the BBC they had not been able to con­tact her since she sent a text on Tues­day night say­ing she was suf­fo­cat­ing.

“I am re­ally, re­ally sorry, Mum and Dad, my trip to a for­eign land has failed,”

Harry Dunn she wrote. “I am dy­ing, I can’t breathe. I love you very much Mum and Dad. I am sorry, Mother.”

Ms Tra My is re­ported to have paid about £30,000 to peo­ple smug­glers in or­der to be brought into the UK il­le­gally.

Her fa­ther, Pham Van Thin, told Sky News: “We tried to talk her out of it be­cause it would be a very dif­fi­cult jour­ney for her as a girl.

“But she said: ‘If I don’t go, the family would stay in a very dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion be­cause of the big debt’.

“So she took a risk and de­cided to go, and we had to agree.”

He added: “We all have been in shock. I can­not ex­plain our pain and dev­as­tat­ing feel­ing.”

He told CNN that smug­glers said the cross­ing was “a safe route” and that peo­ple would go by aero­plane or car.

“If I had known she would go by this route I would not have let her go,” the fa­ther said.

All of the vic­tims have been moved from the ve­hi­cle in Til­bury Docks to Broom­field Hos­pi­tal in Chelms­ford where they will un­dergo post-mortem ex­am­i­na­tions.

Es­sex Po­lice is now work­ing on the largest mass fa­tal­ity vic­tim iden­ti­fi­ca­tion process in its his­tory, hav­ing pre­vi­ously said all were from China.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors will look at tat­toos, scars and be­long­ings, in­clud­ing jew­ellery and cloth­ing, with each of the vic­tims said to have had some kind of bag.

More than 500 ex­hibits have been col­lected, in­clud­ing mo­bile phones, which will be scoured for clues to the iden­tity of the vic­tims or how they came to be in the back of the trailer.

De­tec­tives are in­ves­ti­gat­ing a “wider con­spir­acy” after claims sur­faced that the lorry could have been part of a con­voy of three car­ry­ing around 100 peo­ple.

Bel­gian po­lice are hunt­ing the driver who de­liv­ered the trailer to Zee­brugge.

AF­TER­MATH: Po­lice at the Water­glade In­dus­trial Park in Grays, Es­sex, where 39 bod­ies were found in­side a lorry con­tainer

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