Friday, June 5 2020


Man due in court in connection with 39 lorry deaths

Update: April, 21/2020 - 08:59

Ronan Hughes has been charged with the manslaughter of 39 Vietnamese nationals. — Photo Essex Police.

ESSEX —  A man has been arrested and will appear in court on Tuesday in connection with the deaths of 39 Vietnamese citizens who were found in the back of a lorry in the UK last year.

Police in Essex confirmed the 40-year-old was detailed after detectives executed an arrest warrant at a house in County Monaghan, Ireland.

Ronan Hughes has been charged with 39 offences of manslaughter and a number of immigration offences. He was remanded in custody and is due to appear at Dublin’s High Court.

Assistant Chief Constable Tim Smith, head of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “Our investigation into these matters is ongoing, and we would urge members of the public and the media not to speculate as everyone involved has the right to a fair judicial process.

“This investigation is one of the largest in Essex Police history and we are working tirelessly to piece together the events leading up to the 23 October 2019 for the sake of the victims and their loved ones.

“We have worked closely with the National Crime Agency and Crown Prosecution Service as well as police and prosecutors in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Germany and Vietnam.

“We are immensely grateful for the ongoing support for the investigation, and the victims and their families continue to be at the forefront of our thoughts.”

The bodies were discovered in the back of a lorry container parked in an industrial estate in October last year.

Police in Essex examine the lorry where the bodies of 39 Vietnamese nationals were found last October. — AFP Photo.

Among the 39 dead were ten teenagers, including two 15-year-old boys.

On April 8th, 25-year-old Maurice Robinson from Craigavon in Northern Ireland pleaded guilty to 39 counts of manslaughter at the Old Bailey.

He had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and acquiring criminal property at the same court on Monday 25 November.

Robinson will be sentenced at a later date.

Four other men will stand trial at the Old Bailey in connection with this investigation on Monday 5 October. — VNS


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