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Man charged with people smuggling after Vietnamese nationals found in lorry

Update: November, 14/2018 - 11:00
Newhaven Ferry Port in East Sussex, United Kingdom. — Photo: Newhaven Town Council.
Viet Nam News

Twenty one Vietnamese nationals were discovered hiding in the back of a lorry attempting to smuggle into the United Kingdom.

The group, including children as young as 12, were found in a refrigerated truck bringing sparkling water into Newhaven Port, East Sussex.

They had arrived on a ferry from Dieppe in France.

Romanian citizen Andrut Mihai Duma, 29, who was driving the lorry, has been charged with people smuggling and has been remanded in custody to appear at Lewes Crown Court on November 26.

Seventeen of the group told immigration officers they were minors aged between 12 an 17, with 11 confirmed at the time to be children. 

They were passed into the care of social services, but one has now absconded, a spokesman for East Sussex County Council said.

Cuong Pham who went missing from an address in the United Kingdon. — Photo: Sussex Police.

The spokesman added: “We can confirm that 15 young people were transferred to our care by colleagues from Border Force and the Police on Thursday last week, having been found in a lorry in Newhaven.

“Age assessments were carried out in respect of all of them and concluded that five were in fact adults aged over 18.

“The remaining 10 were then placed either with foster carers or in supported housing options, dependant on their age.

“One young person subsequently absconded from our care, meaning that as of today we continue to care for nine young people.”

The adults in the group are currently being interviewed by immigration officials.

Meanwhile, police in Sussex have released details of a 16 year old boy who has gone missing after arriving in the UK onboard a ferry.

Cuong Pham left the address where he had been placed in care between 12 noon and 3pm on Friday (November 9).

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “He has no money, no known links to anyone in the UK and there are concerns for his welfare given his age.

“He is of pale complexion, 5’ 9" and of skinny build. It is not known what clothing he was wearing when he left.”

(Clockwise from top left) Thanh Nam Nyugen, Thi Ha Phuong Nguyen, Tien Trong Nguyen and Ngoc Nhi Doam. — Photo Sussex Police

More Vietnamese people flee in UK

Four people, believed to be teenagers, have escaped for local authority care in the United Kingdom.

They were part of a group of 21 people smuggled into a port in East Sussex in a refrigerated lorry.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “The four, who claimed to be aged 16 or 17 and were having their ages assessed, arrived on a ferry at the port in Newhaven from Dieppe on November 1.

“While it is thought that they may not be genuinely under 18, there are concerns for their vulnerability as young people who are not familiar with the UK.” — VNS


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