A Child is among the 18 Dead Migrants found in a Truck Yesterday, the Investigation Continues

Incidents | February 18, 2023, Saturday // 09:53|  views

@Radio Free Europe Bulgaria

Police officers and investigators searched various addresses throughout Bulgaria last night. The operation is in connection with the discovery of 18 dead illegal migrants in a truck near the Sofia village of Lokorsko.

8 have already been detained in the case of the coffin truck, discovered near the village of Lokorsko.

Three were detained in the Sofia area last night, and one of them was arrested about 5 kilometers from the abandoned truck. He probably drove the vehicle before abandoning it near the village of Lokorsko.

Five others were detained in Burgas, Kableshkovo and Karnobat. They were taken that night to the police in Burgas, and in their homes evidence was found of trafficking, as well as of the specific transport of illegal migrants.

According to BNT, the detainees in Burgas were responsible for the equipment of the truck and the construction of the secret shelter in it, as well as for the logistics of migrant traffic.

Those detained in Sofia were organizers of the trafficking, and among them is the one who was found to be the leader of the group, according to BNT. According to those familiar with the investigation, before it was abandoned near Lokorsko, the organizer was riding in the cab of the truck.

Today, those detained in Burgas will be escorted to Sofia.

The version that the owner of the coffin truck according to documents was only formal, is being investigated. It is clarified who is the real owner.

According to sources, the evidence collected so far leads to the conclusion that the detainees were an organized criminal gang for channeling.

The bodies of 18 migrants, including a child, were found hidden in the vehicle. 34 people, including 5 children, were injured during the tragic journey.

Last night there were operations by the police and investigators in different parts of the country. It is still being established who was driving the cargo truck in which the illegal immigrants were found, abandoned near the village of Lukorsko.

18 of the refugees were found dead, most likely due to the lack of air in the cargo area of the vehicle.

The Director of the National Investigation Service, Borislav Sarafov:

"Several of the passengers in the truck suffocated - 18 corpses and 34 surviving citizens of Afghanistan, as far as we know from their data, they are Afghan citizens."

Some of those taken by the police have criminal records for various types of crimes, explained the director of the National Police General Directorate, Chief Commissioner Atanas Ilkov.

"These are persons for whom there is sufficient reason to believe that they have complicity in the act in connection with the trafficking activity. One of the persons has several pre-trial proceedings."

The searches of various addresses in Bulgaria are expected to continue today.

Investigators and police officers will determine who exactly drove the truck in which the illegal immigrants were found. The driver is still unknown after abandoning the vehicle near the village of Lukorsko with over 50 illegal immigrants, 18 of whom died of suffocation.

"Pirogov" hospital reports that the night passed peacefully for the injured migrants, accommodated in the medical facility.

Two men remain under observation. The condition of four other men, together with a minor boy, who are placed in the toxicology department of "Pirogov", is improving.

Migrants accommodated in "Pirogov" have muscle damage due to prolonged immobilization, the health facility said in a press release.

A total of 34 migrants are accommodated in hospitals in the capital, including St. Anna Hospital, Military Medical Academy, ISUL, Tokuda and Ministry of Interior Hospital.

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Tags: migrants, truck, Bulgaria, police


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