Belgian probe into discovery of 39 bodies inside Essex trailer will focus on 'organisers'

Belgian probe into discovery of 39 bodies inside Essex trailer will focus on 'organisers'
The truck passed through the Belgian port of Zeebrugge before heading to the U.K. on board a ferry. Credit: Google Street View

Federal prosecutors have launched an investigation after 39 dead bodies were found inside a truck in Essex county which entered England through Belgium.

The investigation will focus on identifying anyone involved in organising the victims' transportation into England, the Federal Prosecutor's Office said in a statement.

Prosecutors and the mayor of Bruges confirmed that the truck passed through Belgium, arriving in Zeebrugge on the afternoon of 22 October before heading to the town of Purfleet, near Grays, where the discovery was made in an industrial park.

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Authorities in England have said that they are working to establish the identities of the 38 adults and one teenager found dead inside the refrigerated trailer, according to reports of the preliminary findings.

Belgian officials will work closely with police and judicial authorities in Britain, whose ongoing investigation led to the arrest and the driver of the truck on suspicions of murder.

"It is not yet clear when the victims were placed in the container and whether this happened in Belgium," federal prosecutors said.

On Thursday, the mayor of Brugges said that it was "virtually impossible" for the 39 people to have climbed into the trailer in Zeebrugge, citing thorough checks in the Belgian port.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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