For a hefty amount of money, Vietnamese migrants can sign up for the so-called “VIP package” to the United Kingdom.
$50,000 will (illegally) get you a flight, fake passport and even a lawyer.
AFP reports the VIP deal offers travel documents and flights to Europe, often to France, Germany or Spain, before the final passage into the UK.
Once in the UK, they are provided with Vietnamese lawyers and translators in the event they are caught by police.
The so-called “VIP package” is regarded as a safer option than cheaper overland routes by people smugglers.
Details of smuggling routes from Vietnam to Europe have come under renewed scrutiny after 39 people were found dead in a truck in Essex in southeast England.
The Sun reports that tracking data has revealed the refrigerated truck visited migrant hotspots Calais and Dunkirk in France in the week leading up to the tragedy.
Initially identified as Chinese, many are now believed to be Vietnamese.
Britain has long been a prime destination for Vietnamese migrants thanks to criminal networks offering work.
AFP reports that the poor areas are riddled with people smugglers with underground contacts stretching across the world.
The people found in the truck last week were likely a mix of VIP and regular passengers, Locate International – a UK-based group that helps to find missing Vietnamese migrants in Britain – told AFP.
Sky News reports that the truck driver has since been arrested and appeared in court.
Maurice “Mo” Robinson from Northern Ireland is charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration, and money laundering.
Robinson (25) will remain in custody until his next court appearance on 25 November.
Three other people have been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and conspiracy to traffic people, and have been released on bail, Sky News reported.
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