Two Chinese in British Court on Immigrants Charge

Published June 24th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Two Chinese are to appear in court on Saturday on charges of helping to smuggle into the UK the 58 illegal immigrants who died in the back of a lorry at Dover, reported the  

You Yi, a 38-year-old chef and Ying Guo, 29, an interpreter, were arrested on Tuesday.  

They have been charged with conspiracy to facilitate illegal entry into the United Kingdom of the 58 immigrants. 

Earlier, an inquest heard how the immigrants had desperately tried to raise the alarm as their oxygen supply ran out, said the BBC.  

They banged on the side of the container with their shoes after an air vent was closed shortly before the lorry arrived at Zeebrugge, in Belgium, the BBC added.  

They died from a lack of oxygen and a build up of carbon dioxide in the airtight container.  

An official said the 54 men and four women would have died between an hour and a half and five hours after the vent was closed.  

He said he was amazed that two men had survived the journey, a result of more air becoming available after the death of each of its occupants.  

"It would appear that at some 90 minutes into the journey and realizing the situation they were in, attempts were made by the occupants of the trailer to raise the alarm."  

Meanwhile, the Dutch driver of the lorry who was accused of the manslaughter of the 58 immigrants has been remanded in custody for seven days.  

Perry Wacker, faces one count of facilitating the illegal entry into the UK of two people, and one count of attempting to facilitate the illegal entry of 58 people as well as 58 counts of manslaughter, said the BBC.  

Dutch police have also arrested two people, including the 24-year-old owner of the haulage company involved in the incident believed to be called Arie van der Spek.  

The two survivors found in the container have been questioned briefly by specially-trained police officers using interpreter, according to the BBC -  


© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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