The Dutch Public Prosecution Service has "explicitly requested" the Belgian police not to intervene with two Vietnamese teenagers who have run away from Limburg. The two were eventually found dead in a refrigerated truck in Essex, UK.
That said the Belgian Minister of Justice, Koen Geens, on Wednesday evening in a parliamentary committee, writes Het Nieuwsblad .
The two Vietnamese victims, aged eighteen and seventeen, were found in a refrigerator truck in the United Kingdom, along with 37 other victims. They turned out to be victims of a group of smugglers.
The two teenagers had previously been found by the Dutch authorities in a truck in the Netherlands and placed in a shelter in Limburg. They walked away there in early October last year.
Geens explained in the Chamber Committee that the Dutch authorities followed the two Vietnamese in order to track down the group of smugglers. When they were seen in the Brussels district of Anderlecht, the Dutch contacted their Belgian colleagues.
The two appeared to reside at an address where other Vietnamese also lived.
"Prosecutor requested not to conduct an investigation"
"The Dutch public prosecutor asked not to conduct an investigation for the time being. He would contact again on Monday," continues Geens, who emphasizes that the contact never came on Monday.
For this reason, the Belgian police did not intervene. "The Vietnamese family (where the two stayed, ed.) Was also unknown to the police."
The two Vietnamese victims eventually traveled to the United Kingdom via Zeebrugge in Belgium. There they were found dead, possibly due to a combination of lack of oxygen and overheating in an enclosed space.
As far as is known, 26 suspects have now been arrested, including the driver and the alleged leader of the gang of smugglers.