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Brussels: A Vietnamese man was handed 15 years jail time in Belgium on Wednesday for his role as ringleader of a people-smuggling operation that led to the deaths of dozens of migrants in a lorry in Britain two years ago, the Belga news agency reported. He was also fined 920,000 euros (1 million dollars) and had close to 2.3 million euros confiscated, Belga wrote. Seventeen others of unnamed nationality were sentenced in the same trial at the Bruges Criminal Court to between one and 10 years, while five defendants were cleared, according to Belga. In late October 2019, 39 bodies were discovered in a refrigerated truck in a town in Essex near London. The 31 Vietnamese men and eight women were likely smuggled into the country this way. A ship had previously taken the container from Belgium to Britain. The migrants had paid more than 10,000 euros (12,100 dollars) each for the crossing. (dpa)
They had no chance of surviving, according to experts, as the temperature in the sealed container had risen to as high as 40 degrees Celsius.
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