JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Six charged after 18 migrants found dead in truck in Bulgaria

Six charged after 18 migrants found dead in truck in Bulgaria

Sunday, February 19, 2023, 09:25 GMT+7
Six charged after 18 migrants found dead in truck in Bulgaria
The bodies of migrants are seen next to a truck near Sofia, Bulgaria, February 17, 2023. Photo: Reuters

Bulgarian prosecutors have charged 6 people with human trafficking after 18 Afghan migrants were found dead inside a truck dumped on an dirt road near the capital Sofia on Friday.

Prosecutors said the truck was abandoned near the village of Lokorsko after the driver and his companion found that many of the 52 migrants in the hidden compartments of the truck, which were isolated with foil, were dizzy and some had already died.

The truck driver and his companion were also charged over the deaths of the migrants, prosecutors said.

Despite strong and prolonged banging on the cabin, the driver refused to stop the truck earlier, the head of the National Investigative Service and deputy chief prosecutor Borislav Sarafov told reporters.

The deaths have shocked Bulgaria, in what is one of the worst incidents of its kind on the overland route across the Balkans into Europe.

Thousands of people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia make the journey and Bulgaria has been trying to cope with an increased inflow of migrants from neighbouring Turkey in the past year.

The 18 victims died of a combination of lack of oxygen in an enclosed space and difficulty breathing as they had been crammed into the truck "like in a tin can", Sarafov said.

"The victims died slowly and painfully," he added.

"This case shows an extreme callousness and demonstrates that migrants are seen only as goods that should be shipped from one place to another, irrespective of whether they are alive or dead," he said.

The other 34 migrants, who were rushed to hospitals on Friday, remain in stable condition, officials said.

Five of those charged are in custody, while one of the suspected traffickers, who had managed to flee the country, is being sought with an European arrest warrant.

Prosecutors said the ring had trafficked migrants from the border with Turkey across Bulgaria to Serbia, from where they continued their journey mainly to Britain, Germany and France.



Read more

Toyota showcases compact engines adaptable to different fuels

Toyota Motor showcased next-generation engines on Tuesday that can be used in cars as varied as hybrids and those running on biofuel, as it targets tougher emissions standards and doubles down on its strategy of selling more than just EVs

19 hours ago



‘Taste of Australia’ gala dinner held in Ho Chi Minh City after 2-year hiatus

Taste of Australia Gala Reception has returned to the Park Hyatt Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Vietnamese woman gives unconditional love to hundreds of adopted children

Despite her own immense hardship, she has taken in and cared for hundreds of orphans over the past three decades.

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta celebrates spring with ‘hat boi’ performances

The art form is so popular that it attracts people from all ages in the Mekong Delta

Latest news