Probably because they were breaking the law

The 39 people who died in the lorry were victims. Why does the law treat them as criminals?
Annie Kelly

24 thoughts on “Probably because they were breaking the law”

  1. Unless we are now prescribing the death sentence for illegal immigration, I’d think that, for these folks, becoming dead trumps their misdeeds and makes them more victim than perpetrator.

    Sure, they would have assumed some risk & responsibility when embarking on their journey, but how much forewarning and choice do we think they actually had at the moment of “get in the truck”?

    Some fucker thought it was OK to stick these folks in a refrigerated van. Regardless of their own culpability for their fate, perhaps that fucker should be a priority for law enforcement.

  2. Don’t buy it, Geoffers. We don’t prescribe the death penalty for anything, but one of a gang of thieves is murdered by his confederates their liability for murder and his victimhood at their hands does not mean he ceases to have been a criminal and one who put himself in that position of harm’s way in the first place.

  3. “Sure, they would have assumed some risk & responsibility when embarking on their journey”

    No Geoffers, they deliberately chose to break the law. They took the risk and are therefore responsible for their own deaths.

  4. Bloke in North Dorset

    Were the criminals? They may have intended to break the law but from my understanding they were dead well before they landed.

    As always with the Guardian that piece is long on heartrending but devoid of practical things we can do to stop these sorts of incidence, short of declaring open season for all.

  5. They were breaking into our country. A shame that they all got croaked–I wouldn’t have wished that on them.

    They should have been found by our border clowns., given a beating and had any excess cash etc taken from them to cover our expenses and then been shipped back to where they came from.

    That would serve as discouragement enough.

  6. Edward Lud: “But where is the evidence of them having been treated as such?”

    Well, quite! They’ve been treated better than such, in fact.

    If Big Ron and a couple of his tooled-up pals drive their getaway van into a brick wall, I very much doubt all the cops keeping lookie-loos away would remove their hats and bow their heads when the meatwagon removes the remains….

  7. “His journey towards that point had begun with a childhood of crippling and monotonous poverty and the belief that the only way to escape and honour his filial responsibility to provide for his parents was to follow the promise of work in the UK. He embarked on an overland journey across Europe where he was smuggled from safe house to safe house, fell under the control of criminal gangs and was raped, beaten and brutalised. By the time he reached France, he was told he had to pay back £20,000 – an amount he couldn’t even comprehend. His parents would be the ones who would suffer if he didn’t pay them back.”

    The trouble with this sort of narrative is that Vietnam isn’t actually that poor any more. It’s growing at over 5% per year, has been for a decade. It’s GDP/capita is up to $2300, but in local spending, that’s more like $6000. Still not great, but would you come to the UK just to wash cars compared to that? Which makes me think everyone is really coming here just to produce dope and work as whores, which are lucrative trades. I’ll bet if you legalised weed, you’d lose a lot of people smuggling.

  8. Planning a murder is as much a crime as actually committing it. As is conspiracy to commit that crime. I guess we should lay blame at the door of bleeding heart liberals who ensure that those crimes go unpunished!

  9. One of the biggest pieces of bullshit in this article is that they were all somehow tricked into being told they were going to have some great life in the UK when really they were going to be slaves.

    In reality what happens is that they will come to the UK, work hard, live in conditions that are relatively shitty compared to your middle-class Guardian reader but not really any worse than back home and be paid at least 10 times more than they get back home. They’d probably save ten grand a year, stick it out for a decade and go home in their early 30’s unbeliveably rich compared to what they would have had in Vietnam. They’d then build a nice family home and have plenty of savings to live on for a long time and start a business with.

    It’s tragic that they died like this and yes they can both break the law and be victims at the same time.

  10. Is China going to apologise for its arrogant slander before it was discovered the dead were Vietnamese? Just asking.

    I get why these people tried what they did and this sort of illegal is far preferable to the sort the globalists want to drown the west in. I can’t imagine they would have been raping, stabbing or sponging off the dole too much but that’s not the point.

    If you try to break into this country – or any other – illegally, you are illegal. End of.

    We have no obligation whatsoever to anybody who tries. We are not responsible for the depredations of, or the lies told by, or the inhumanity of the criminal scum who, as pointed out, very likely let these people suffocate probably days before the bodies were found inside this country.

    If anybody in this country can be allotted blame or moral responsibility it is those leftist globalist Britain haters and if it was up to me a dozen of the most loud mouthed would have been arrested.

    They would then have been taken to Essex and made to clear the bodies out of lorry. The bodies would be sent back to Vietnam and they would be sent the bill.

  11. “Some fucker thought it was OK to stick these folks in a refrigerated van. Regardless of their own culpability for their fate, perhaps that fucker should be a priority for law enforcement.”

    One suspects that the van was not refrigerated when they got into it. Or rather the refrigeration wasn’t turned on. And was not supposed to be, as delivering your human freight as ice cubes rather than alive would tend to hit the headlines and prevent further business. What I suspect has happened is that someone somewhere has seen that the refrigeration unit was switched off, and entirely innocently has turned it on, to be ‘helpful’. So the chances are even if they find the Messrs Big of the operation, they won’t be able to prove that they did anything other than traffic them. Negligence or manslaughter maybe, but murder I doubt it.

  12. Jim
    I suspect that you are largely right. However, as I understand it, and someone correct me if I am wrong, people smugglers put their human cargo in working freezer lorries deliberately. Apparently it makes it harder for them to be detected by heat-seeking cameras at the border. I suppose it’s possible that for some reason the refrigeration was switched on for longer, or set colder, than intended, or that the people inside were unwittingly left there for longer than would be survivable.
    It could easily, as you say, be someone switching the refrigeration on when it was supposed to be off or some other accident/delay.
    Of course it was an accident waiting to happen as I doubt anyone involved was an expert on how much freezing the human body can take and there being too many points of failure, especially if there were people involved who didn’t even know what was going on..

  13. I thought the suffocated rather than froze?? These freezer vans will be air tight too right, else they would let in warm air?? Maybe whatever steps are usually taken to prevent suffocation weren’t followed this time??

  14. Bloke in North Dorset

    I suspect that you are largely right. However, as I understand it, and someone correct me if I am wrong, people smugglers put their human cargo in working freezer lorries deliberately. Apparently it makes it harder for them to be detected by heat-seeking cameras at the border.

    I’m not sure how that would work> I thought teat detection is the difference in temperature, if you turn down the background temperature the difference is greater and the human bodies more likely to show up.

    I guess they have to turn it on because if they didn’t it would be suspicious and attract attention and claiming its empty could be checked by weighting it. 39 bodies at, say, 75kg is 3 tonnes which will show up on any vehicle scales. Then as others have said forgot or couldn’t turn it off when they got through customs.

  15. A refrigerated lorry is thermally insulated. Wouldn’t be much good as a fridge if it wasn’t.

    Point a thermal imaging camera at your fridge at home and you will not be able to tell what’s inside it.

    A TI camera only sees temperature gradients on the actual surface of the object it’s looking at. Half a dozen people inside a wooden crate likely would not be seen unless they were resting against the wall and making a hotspot.

    I suspect a decently made refrigerated lorry is a good sound insulator too and probably less likely to be opened than a non-regrigerated one.

    But it’s all likely moot as I suspect the bulk of lorries just aren’t looked at.

  16. Well, you can be both at the same time.

    And *is* the law treating them as criminals? I’m pretty sure they’re dead and ‘the law’ outside of noting that they were illegal immigrants, is more concerned on finding out how they died, who was responsible, and catching those people.

    Well, in between rounding up people who posted mean things on social media and standing around while nomads shit all over local public lands.

  17. The dead cannot be prosecuted, so they can’t be treated as criminals regardless of their actions. If they were still alive then yes they would be potentially guilty of breaking and entering into the country.

    At this stage I think it’s a Coroner’s Investigation, which is a fact-finding process, not a prosecutory process.

  18. @ Gamecock
    The UK media repeatedly report US courts sentencing convicted persons to a series of consecutive sentences totalling more than a century. People-traffickers of illegal immigrants who kill (whether deliberately or carelessly) their customer-victims surely deserve such treatment?

  19. @Bloke on M4 October 30, 2019 at 9:41 am

    Re: “produce dope”

    C4 News tonight

    Vietnam bloke “My brother is in UK running a cannabis farm, he went in a container, I’m going to do same”

    C4 bloke “Cannabis farm is illegal drug by illegal immigrant, he shouldn’t be in UK, he’s a criminal” “That shows your determination (good luck)”

    C4 News a bleeding heart, hand-wringers paradise again: GreenFail, Criminals are Victims, Bad white men, Evil Boris

    Notable is how they won’t support Woman Fireman head, but won’t unsupport; but message delivered is “non white beats lefty white women in victim league”

  20. @Wonko the sane

    “lay blame at the door of bleeding heart liberals who” support and encouage illegal immigration and economic “refugees”ms

    @Dongguan John October 30, 2019 at 9:44 am
    @Mark October 30, 2019 at 10:24 am
    @JS October 30, 2019 at 12:26 pm


    Finally, don’t forget these illegals will receive free NHS/GP treatments and free schools if they produce a child, all while paying no tax

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