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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Trucker admits killing 39 migrants smuggled in back of refrigerated truck

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A 25-year-old lorry driver, Maurice Robinson on Wednesday admitted the manslaughter of 39 Vietnamese migrants who were found dead in the back of a refrigerated truck.

Robinson was arrested after the bodies were found in the trailer in Grays, Essex, last October, hours after it crossed from Belgium.

All 39 victims died from a lack of oxygen and overheating.

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At the time Robinson admitted smuggling migrants as part of an international people trafficking gang, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and acquiring criminal property, namely cash.

On Wednesday Robinson pleaded guilty to the manslaughters at a virtual hearing at the Old Bailey but denied transferring criminal property.

Co-defendants Gheorghe Nica, 43, and Alexandru-Ovidiu Hanga, 27, of Essex and Christopher Kennedy, 23, of Co Armagh denied conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration. Valentin Calota, 37, of Birmingham, was not asked to enter a plea to the same charge. Nica also denied 39 counts of manslaughter.

They face trial in October. It is not decided if Robinson will face trial on the charge he denied. Daily Mail

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