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Man (40s) arrested in relation to deaths of 39 people in Essex lorry last year

He is due before the High Court tomorrow.

The lorry in Essex in which 39 people were discovered last year.
The lorry in Essex in which 39 people were discovered last year.
Image: PA Images

A MAN IN his 40s has been arrested on foot of a European Arrest Warrant in relation to the deaths of 39 people found in the back of a lorry in Essex last year.

He is due to appear before a High Court in Dublin tomorrow morning at 10:30am.

The bodies of the 39 Vietnamese nationals were discovered by emergency services at an industrial estate in Grays, Essex, shortly after a lorry arrived on a ferry from Zeebrugge in Belgium in the early hours of 23 October last year.

Charges were previously brought against five other men following an investigation by Essex Police.

Maurice Robinson, 25, of Craigavon in Northern Ireland, had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and acquiring criminal property.

During a hearing earlier this month, the truck driver also admitted 39 counts of manslaughter on or before 24 October last year.

He denied a further charge of transferring criminal property.

Robinson appeared at court via video link alongside four other co-defendants.

British Romanian Gheorghe Nica, 43, of Mimosa Close in Langdon Hills, denied 39 counts of manslaughter.

He also denied one count of conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration between 1 May 2018 and 24 October 2019.

Romanian national Alexandru-Ovidiu Hanga, 27, of Hobart Road in Tilbury, denied a charge of conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration.

Christopher Kennedy, 23, of Corkley Road in Darkley, Co Armagh, Northern Ireland, has previously denied conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration.

Valentin Calota, 37, of Cossington Road in Birmingham, was not asked to enter a plea to the charge of conspiring to assist unlawful immigration.

With reporting from PA. Comments closed for legal reasons. 

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