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Essex lorry deaths: Vietnamese police arrest eight people over deaths of 39 migrants

The lorry in which the bodies were discovered
The lorry in which the bodies were discovered
Mark Edwards

By Mark Edwards

Police in Vietnam have arrested eight people in connection with the discovery of 39 bodies in a lorry in Essex, state media has confirmed.

Nguyen Huu Cau, the Nghe An province police chief, told the Vietnam News Agency: "Based on what we learn from the suspects, we will actively launch investigations to fight and eradicate these rings which bring people illegally to Britain."

On Friday, Vietnamese police arrested two people and summoned others for questioning on suspicion of involvement in the trafficking of Vietnamese nationals to the United Kingdom.

On Friday, Essex police said they believed each of the victims were Vietnamese nationals.

The lorry driver, 25-year-old Maurice “Mo” Robinson, from Northern Ireland, has appeared in court charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and money laundering.

Another Northern Ireland man, 23-year-old Eamon Harrison from Newry, has also appeared in court charged in relation to the 39 deaths.

Harrison was arrested on foot of a European Arrest Warrant on Friday and appeared before Dublin High Court, where authorities are seeking to have him extradited to the UK.

The court heard UK authorities want his extradition for prosecution on 39 counts of manslaughter, one charge of conspiracy to commit human trafficking and another of conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration.

Police have also urged two Armagh brothers wanted in connection with the deaths, Ronan and Christopher Hughes, to hand themselves in for questioning.

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